2021 Elections 12021 Elections

The 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election will be held on November 2, 2021, to elect the next governor of Virginia. Incumbent Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is unable to run for reelection, as the Constitution of Virginia prohibits the officeholder from serving consecutive terms.

The Democratic Party will select its candidate in a primary election on June 8, 2021. The Republican Party will hold a drive-thru convention on May 8, 2021 at Liberty University Princess Blanding is running under the newly formed Liberation Party.

General Election polls:

SourceRankingAs of
The Cook Political Report[57]Likely DFebruary 1, 2021
270toWin[58]Likely DFebruary 3, 2021
Inside Elections[59]Likely DFebruary 19, 2021
i

Virginia state elections in 2021 will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Democratic party primary elections are scheduled to be held on June 8, 2021.

Governor

Main article:   2021 Virginia gubernatorial election

Incumbent Democratic governor Ralph Northam is unable to run for reelection, as the Constitution of Virginia prohibits the officeholder from serving consecutive terms. He was elected in 2017 with 53.9% of the vote, the most for a Democratic candidate in a statewide race.

Lieutenant Governor

Main article:  2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election
Incumbent lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax is eligible to run for a second term, but is instead running for governor.[2] He was first elected in 2017 with 52.7% of the vote.

Attorney General

 Main article:  2021 Virginia Attorney General election
Incumbent attorney general Mark Herring is running for re-election to a third term. He was re-elected in 2017 with 53.3% of the vote. A primary challenge by Delegate Jay Jones is supported by Governor Ralph Northam[3] as well as several federal and state legislators.

House of Delegates

Main article:   2021 Virginia House of Delegates election
All 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election.[4] The chamber is currently controlled by Democrats after the 2019 elections, holding a majority of ten seats.

Winning elections for the past five years has been low-hanging fruit for Democrats in Virginia, and the reason can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump.

The divisive former president’s unpopularity in the commonwealth has had the net effect of turning Virginia – where no Republican has won a statewide race since 2009 – from deep purple to a bright cobalt blue.

Consider that since 2016, the year Trump led his party’s ticket and won the presidency, the GOP in Virginia has lost: two U.S. Senate races; the 2017 gubernatorial race; its U.S. House of Representatives majority; its majority in the Virginia Senate and; its House of Delegates majority. The last time the Republican Party found itself so shut out of Virginia political power was 1969.

Del. Hala Ayala, the newly minted Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, drew harsh criticism in the final days of the campaign for flipping on a promise to refuse campaign donations from state-regulated monopolies.

Her campaign ducked questions about the decision last week after finance reports revealed she had accepted a $100,000 donation from Dominion Energy, but in an interview at a polling place in Prince William on Tuesday, she suggested the decision came down to being able to fund her campaign’s voter outreach.

“It’s about talking to voters, right? And making sure we communicate and get our message out because it overwhelmingly resonates, as you’ve seen,” she said.

McAuliffe’s sweep beat expectations that were already sky-high
Virginia Mercury, Graham Moomaw| Ned OliverJune 9, 2021

Terry McAuliffe won Petersburg, the hometown of one of his top opponents, former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, who had accused him of neglecting the majority-Black city during his first term.

He won in Richmond, where Sen. Jennifer McClellan had an advantage due to her strong local following.

He won in Nelson County, a hotbed of opposition to the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline project that earned McAuliffe the ire of activists who pressed unsuccessfully for him to block it during his first term.

He got almost 65 percent support in Fairfax County, the biggest prize in prosperous Northern Virginia. He did just as well or better in far Southwest Virginia, a region with some of the lowest per-capita incomes in the state.

He won everywhere. Literally.

Primary voters in Virginia delivered a rebuke to the left wing of the Democratic party on Tuesday, sweeping three outspoken incumbents from office and rejecting progressive challengers in all but one race.

By the end of the night, voters had booted Dels. Lee Carter, D-Prince William, the General Assembly’s only socialist; Ibraheem Samirah, D-Fairfax, a progressive activist who protested Trump during an official visit; and Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, one of the chamber’s most forceful proponents of gun control.

“We just need to be on the same team as much as possible,” said Lisa Giovanini, a stay-at-home mom in Fairfax who said she had supported Samirah in years prior but said she disliked his confrontational style and unwillingness to cooperate with party leadership.

McAuliffe crushes competitors in Democratic primary for governor
Virginia Mercury, Graham Moomaw -June 8, 2021

For anyone wondering how Terry McAuliffe was feeling before Virginia’s gubernatorial primary, his election-eve shimmying spree was a solid indicator.

The almost-victory dance became the real thing Tuesday as the former governor and prolific Democratic fundraiser cruised to a lopsided win in a split field, setting up a general-election matchup with deep-pocketed Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.

Tuesday’s victory cements McAuliffe’s return to the forefront of Virginia politics after serving as governor from 2014 to 2018. He had to leave office due to Virginia’s ban on governors serving consecutive terms, but there was nothing stopping him running again after a brief hiatus in which he explored the idea of a presidential run or a potential post in President Joe Biden’s cabinet.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be the commonwealth’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee, CNN projected on Tuesday, besting four other primary challengers as he seeks to become the first person in decades to serve multiple terms as top executive of a commonwealth that bars governors from consecutive terms.

McAuliffe’s win sets a general election between the former governor and Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. The race in Virginia, one of two states that hold off-year elections for governor after presidential elections, will be closely watched in Washington, DC, and beyond as it is often seen as a bellwether for the subsequent midterms.

McAuliffe wasted no time going after the Republican nominee on Tuesday, using part of his victory speech to link Youngkin to former President Donald Trump — a preview of what will be most of the former governor’s general election message.

As he runs for a second term, Terry McAuliffe is presenting himself as a policy-heavy candidate, talking up the 130 pages of “big bold plans” listed on his website. But the former governor, seen as a strong favorite to win his party’s nomination for governor in next week’s primary, has studiously avoided taking a clear position on one of his party’s major policy divides: repealing Virginia’s longstanding right-to-work law.

Three of five candidates in the Democratic gubernatorial field — former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Del. Lee Carter — support repealing the law, which impedes the power of organized labor by allowing workers to avoid paying mandatory union dues. Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, has said she supports pro-union policies but doesn’t support compulsory union fees.

Cheap labor has long been part of Virginia’s pitch to prospective businesses, owing partly to the right-to-work law that’s been on the books since 1947.

 

With Republicans and Democrats alike reluctant to put limits on Virginia’s wide-open campaign finance system, money has been pouring into primary contests in what’s going to be a high-stakes election year.

And the batch of campaign finance numbers released this week seemed to have something for everyone not to like.

One week out from the June 8 primaries, here are four things that stood out in the latest reports, covering April 1 through May 27, as compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.

The fourth and final debate of Virginia’s Democratic primary for governor was the most contentious yet as progressive candidates tried to portray frontrunner Terry McAuliffe as out of step with the type of message the party needs to deliver to keep the state blue.

One week out from the primary, it remains to be seen whether the attacks on the former governor will dramatically alter the race, which McAuliffe seems to have dominated ever since he announced he was making the rare move of seeking a second term after leaving office in early 2018.

But the last debate, held at Christopher Newport University in Newport News and televised by Hampton Roads-based TV station WVEC, showed McAuliffe’s opponents weren’t interested in a sleepy primary finish even as McAuliffe signaled that he’s looking ahead to the general-election matchup against Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.

The Democrats’ New Trump Problem
The Atlantic, Elaine GodfreyMay 26, 2021

LEESBURG, Va.—I smelled their perfume before I saw them, the small troop of middle-aged women marching toward the park pavilion one night last week, with their flowy blouses and short blond bobs and oversize black sunglasses. They sat around picnic tables with a handful of other volunteers, mostly women, and awaited instruction. They were not here to mess around. They were here for democracy.

The evening’s project: the first door-knocking event of the election season for the Virginia state delegate Wendy Gooditis, a 61-year-old Democrat and former real-estate agent first elected in 2017. Gooditis, like many other women across the country, ran for office that year because she was angry about Donald Trump’s election. Similarly angry suburbanites helped her unseat the district’s two-term Republican incumbent. In 2019, she defeated him again as part of a wave of anti-Trump backlash that helped Virginia Democrats take back the House of Delegates. But now, with her third campaign ramping up and Trump no longer in office, Gooditis needs to figure out a way to keep the enthusiasm alive.

 

“I know it is early to knock on doors, but we just have to keep people awake,” Gooditis said, standing in front of the picnic tables and addressing her volunteers. She wore pink skinny jeans, and her long brown hair hung down her back. “Our job tonight is to remind people that there’s a long way to go.”

The Virginia House Democratic Caucus authorized and funded attack mailers that falsely imply two of the state’s top donors to Democrats are right-wing “dark money billionaires,” according to an image of the mailer obtained by The Virginia Mercury.

The caucus-backed messages were sent in support of new Del. Candi King, D-Prince William, who has accepted money from Dominion Energy, against primary challenger Pam Montgomery, who is backed by the advocacy group Clean Virginia, which presses Virginia legislators to refuse campaign donations from Dominion.

The mailers include a picture of a book labeled “RIGHT WING PLAYBOOK,” call Montgomery “a distraction, not a Democrat” and include an unexplained photo of Montgomery with former New York Mayor and occasional Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, an image that appeared to be taken from an old website for an investment company Montgomery ran with her husband. Montgomery works as the chief of staff for a Democratic member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

This could get ugly
Virginia Mercury, Richard Meagher, OpinionMay 20, 2021

Virginia Republicans are flying high right now. After an unprecedented but ultimately successful “unassembled convention,” the party’s ticket for statewide office is set. Party leaders are especially excited about their nominee for governor, Glenn Youngkin, a tall and telegenic newcomer to politics with especially deep pockets.

With lieutenant governor nominee Winsome Sears, a veteran and Jamaican immigrant, and Cuban-American Jason Miyares for attorney general, the Republicans have rightly crowed that their ticket will likely end up featuring more diversity than the Democrats. (Although just like last year’s national election, both party’s tickets look to be led by rich White dudes, so let’s not get too excited.)

Republicans in Virginia also are hopeful that history is on their side. In the past, the national mood often swings against the party in power after a presidential election. Since Virginia unusually runs statewide elections in odd years, 2021 offers an early test of whether the country is turning towards Republicans.

The five Democratic candidates for governor in Virginia squared off in a virtual debate Thursday night, the third of four debates scheduled before the June 8 primary.

The hourlong event hosted by NBC4 Washington covered much of the same territory as the first two debates, with former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy and Del. Lee Carter laying out their plans for COVID-19 recovery, education, police reform and health care with few opportunities for extended back-and-forth between candidates.

Some of the most direct answers of the night came when moderator Chuck Todd of NBC News asked questions about electability and qualifications tailored specifically to each candidate.

Despite the early efforts to paint the Republicans’ 2021 ticket as an overwhelming lurch to the right, the slate isn’t nearly as extreme as it might’ve been. Instead of Chase, a self-described “Trump in heels,” becoming the party’s standard-bearer in a state former President Donald Trump lost twice, she logged off and went to the beach.

After failing to win a statewide election since 2009, some Republicans say they feel surprisingly good about where the party stands coming out of a chaotic unassembled convention marked by procedural confusion, mysterious attack ads and infighting.

“I think some of the ebullience you see in Republicans right now is that this could’ve been very bad. And it turned into the exact opposite,” said Shaun Kenney, a former Republican Party of Virginia executive director who has criticized fringe elements in the party. “But it’s more than just a sigh of relief. It’s like we finally know where we’re headed.”

In the GOP field of gubernatorial candidates, only one was ever willing to call Joe Biden the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election.

It was not Glenn Youngkin, who won the Republican nomination this week.

That changed pretty quickly this week as he began his pivot to the general election.

His campaign emailed reporters Wednesday a clip from an appearance on a radio show earlier in the day, where he was asked, “When you’re asked the question, flat out, was the election of 2020 legitimate or not, what are you going to say?”

Youngkin responded, “I’m saying, of course. He’s our president. He slept in the White House last night. He’s addressed a Joint Session of Congress. He’s signing executive orders that I wish he wasn’t signing.”

GALAX, Virginia — Republican gubernatorial candidate Kirk Cox was several minutes into a wonky election security answer at a diner when January 6 came up again.

Did President Joe Biden win the election? Cox avoided directly answering the question at this recent event, though he had previously acknowledged that reality, the one GOP frontrunner willing to do so.

Instead, he refocused on proposals like voter ID requirements, which are popular with lots of voters. But now Lin, a Trump supporter who had posed the Biden question, had another one. She wanted to know whether he agreed with the Virginia Senate censuring one of its members, Amanda Chase, after she called the people who stormed the US Capitol that day in January “patriots.”

He’s ultra-rich, enjoys tubing and shotguns and, until a few months ago, was virtually unknown in Virginia political circles.

Glenn Youngkin emerged as the Virginia GOP’s nominee for governor on Monday after a relatively drama-free day of vote counting that saw the 54-year-old former CEO of the Carlyle Group maintain a comfortable lead through successive rounds of vote counting in the ranked-choice contest.

“I am prepared to lead, excited to serve and profoundly humbled by the trust the people have placed in me,” Youngkin wrote in a tweet. “Virginians have made it clear that they are ready for a political outsider with proven business experience to bring real change in Richmond.”

The first statewide Republican nominating contest since former President Donald Trump left office has added a new issue to the top tier of traditional GOP campaign messages: “election integrity.”

All four of the leading Republican candidates for this weekend’s “unassembled convention,” where Republican delegates will vote for their nominee at 39 sites around the state, are talking about election and voting rules on the trail and in ads, with some putting forth detailed plans for how they would change Virginia’s election rules.

The proposals are an unmistakable response to Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, which quickly became a cause on the right. “Election integrity” is far from the only thing Republicans are discussing on the trail, with guns, abortion and pandemic policies all playing key roles, too. But the renewed focus on voting laws by four candidates trying to appeal to convention delegates underscores how much this issue is on the minds of Republican voters — and that Republicans who win state office in Virginia and elsewhere are poised to count changing voting laws among their top priorities.

Opponents press McAuliffe on Amazon, policing in second Democratic primary debate
Virginia Mercury, https://www.virginiamercury.com/2021/05/06/mcauliffe-pressed-on-amazon-policing-in-second-democratic-primary-debate/May 6, 2021

Several Democratic candidates for governor took shots at frontrunner Terry McAuliffe during the second televised debate of the campaign Thursday night, leaving the former governor defending his record on policing, luring Amazon to Virginia and assisting impoverished, majority-Black communities like Petersburg.

But there didn’t appear to be a single, standout moment that might dramatically alter the dynamics of the race one month out from the June 8 primary. In his closing statement, McAuliffe, a former governor seeking a rare second term in office, signaled he’s already looking ahead to the general election and the coming fight against whomever Republicans nominate for governor at their convention this weekend.

“You look at the Republicans, who they’ll nominate in two days. They’re fawning all over Donald Trump. They’re trying to bring their Trump politics here to Virginia,” McAuliffe said. “We can’t allow it. We’ve got to stop them.”

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Being a voter’s second choice is usually a recipe for disaster for a political candidate, but in this year’s chaotic GOP gubernatorial race in Virginia, second-place status could be a winning ticket.

Seven candidates are vying for the Republican nomination at what the GOP is calling an “unassembled convention” this Saturday.

None of the four top-tier candidates — Pete Snyder, Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox and Glenn Youngkin — have established themselves as a clear front-runner. As a result, under the ranked-choice voting system the GOP is using, the winner will almost certainly need to be the second choice of numerous voters, and perhaps even the third choice, to secure the nomination.

Republicans around Virginia streamed into voting sites Saturday to choose their nominee for governor, and in Caroline County, Don Denton was first in line.

He said he was backing Amanda Chase, a state senator who ran a hard-right campaign and pitched herself as “Trump in heels” despite the former president’s overwhelming losses in Virginia, which has grown progressively bluer in the 11 years since a Republican last won a statewide election.

A 73-year-old former Marine sergeant, Denton compared Chase’s tactics — which have made her a pariah to many mainstream Republicans and a populist champion for those who prefer more combative politics — to military leaders ordering soldiers to take a hill knowing “a certain percentage of them” will die.

The Republican Party of Virginia has a chance this year to reestablish itself as a competitive force in statewide elections.

After a dozen years without a statewide victory, the GOP leadership needed to take a careful look within to understand why voters have turned their backs on the once dominant political party in Virginia. It appears that party leaders decided that with the right method of nominating candidates for statewide office, they can change their fortunes.

Republican Party leaders   generally have favored conventions as a means of selecting nominees for statewide offices. The closed process, open only to the most inside of GOP insiders and dominated by some of its most conservative voices, has had a mixed record of success.

There’s no clear front runner.

There are four obvious leaders in the seven-person field, but beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess who’s most likely to win.

“It’s the most difficult race to handicap imaginable,” said veteran political commentator Bob Holsworth, pointing to the GOP’s plan to employ ranked-choice voting and a system that weights delegates’ votes based on the partisan leanings of their home locality.

Former state Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy’s supporters say she is best-positioned to challenge the former governor, but she has yet to gain broad name recognition.

In Virginia, 2021 was the best chance yet to elect a Black politician — and possibly the first Black woman in any state — to the governor’s mansion.

But with five weeks until the commonwealth’s Democratic primary, Terry McAuliffe, its white male former governor, is on track to secure the nomination easily.

More than 53,000 delegates register to vote in Virginia GOP convention
Virginia Mercury, Ned Oliver April 28, 2021

The Virginia GOP says 53,524 delegates have registered to vote in the party’s nominating convention next week, in which Republicans will select their candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson announced the number at a candidate forum on Tuesday evening, predicting the event would be “the largest state party convention ever in American history.”

The convention is set for Saturday, May 8, and, unlike a traditional convention held at a single location, will take place at voting locations set up around the state to comply with COVID-19 safety rules.

Mystery groups spend thousands trashing GOP candidates for governor
Virginia Mercury, Graham MoomawApril 15, 2021

In Virginia Cornerstone PAC’s video ads, Glenn Youngkin is an out-of-touch elitist whose global investment firm did business in China and paid Hillary Clinton $200,000 in speaking fees.

In mailers sent out by the Commonwealth Conservative Fund, Pete Snyder, aka “Sneaky Pete,” is a RINO who once said Donald Trump sounded like a “racist jerk.”

On the First Principles Fund website, Kirk Cox is a career politician, phony conservative and a “lead architect” of Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

McAuliffe showed leadership on guns
Roanoke Times, Andy Parker - OpinionApril 14, 2021

Tragically, every day many Virginians continue to feel the heartache caused by gun violence. In the last 15 years alone, Virginians have had to witness mass shootings at Virginia Tech, Virginia Beach, and in Alexandria during a congressional baseball game. We made great strides to curb gun violence in this past legislative session, thanks to the leadership of Gov. Ralph Northam and the Democratic majorities in the General Assembly. Virginia finally passed crucial gun violence prevention measures, but we need to make sure our next governor continues to push our Commonwealth forward.

We need a leader who has the vision to roll out bold, comprehensive gun violence prevention plans, and I believe Terry McAuliffe is that leader. Terry is not afraid to stand up against extremist groups like the NRA, and in fact was the first southern governor to be elected after running with an “F” rating from the NRA. As Virginia’s 72nd governor, he fought the gun lobby and vetoed numerous radical Republican proposals that would have made our Commonwealth less safe. And as Virginia’s next governor, I know he won’t tinker around the edges. He’s going to go big when it comes to gun violence prevention. Terry recently released his gun violence prevention plan which includes a number of much-needed reforms.

Virginia’s next governor must be a climate champion
Virginia Mercury, Jolene Mafnas, OpinionApril 9, 2021

With early voting beginning later this month in the gubernatorial primary, candidates for Virginia’s highest political office are already off to the races. As candidates work to carve out a niche for themselves among the crowded field, they are turning to climate change to make their boldest proposals.

A few weeks ago, my organization, Food & Water Watch, was proud to co-sponsor one of the first debates between candidates, the Virginia People’s Debates. All Democratic candidates for the role, save one, came to speak candidly on their policies, using the opportunity to speak to engaged constituents about the greatest converging existential threats of our time: climate change and environmental justice.

In a refreshing departure from previous administrations, all the candidates that came to the event pledged not to accept any campaign donations (direct or indirect) from Dominion Energy or any other state regulated corporations. All candidates also pledged to support a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure and to halt new permits for pending fossil fuel projects.

Northam endorses McAuliffe for Va. governor
AP, Sarah RankinApril 8, 2021

Northam endorses McAuliffe in the race to succeed him, handing his predecessor one of the contest’s most coveted endorsements.

Northam, who under Virginia law cannot seek a consecutive term in office, said McAuliffe’s accomplishments during his previous term in the governor’s mansion show he is the right person for the job.

“Terry’s strong record of delivering for Virginians is exactly why we need him as our next governor,” Northam said in a statement shared with The Associated Press ahead of the formal announcement. “We will need bold leadership ready to build a more equitable post-COVID economy that creates jobs, invests in workers, ensures equitable access to quality affordable health care, and rebuilds Virginia’s thriving network of small businesses.”

4 moments that stood out during the first Democratic gubernatorial debate
Virginia Mercury, Graham Moomaw -April 6, 2021

The first televised debate of Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary started out tame Tuesday evening, with almost 25 minutes of civil discussion about how the five candidates onstage plan to lead the state out of it.

The second half took a sharper turn, with several attacks against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, veering into a more pointed discussions of race, guns police tactics and government accountability.

Running as a quasi-incumbent, McAuliffe is considered the frontrunner in a field that includes Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas.

The GOP candidates for governor had just finished introducing themselves to members of the Princess Anne Republican Women’s Club when the forum’s moderator realized she had misplaced her list of questions.

Not a problem, she said: “I do remember one off the top of my head, so we’ll go with the elephant in the room. … The elephant in the room is election integrity.”

Not even Donald Trump alleged voter fraud contributed to his 10-point loss in Virginia last November. But the former president’s baseless post-election allegations have nonetheless dominated debate among Virginia Republicans as they prepare to select their nominee for governor in this year’s election.

Clean Virginia backs Carroll Foy for governor with $500K donation
Virginia Mercury, Graham Moomaw April 5, 2021

The advocacy group Clean Virginia is endorsing Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy for governor, support that comes with an eye-popping $500,000 PAC donation to the former state delegate’s campaign.

Founded and financed by wealthy Charlottesville investor Michael Bills, Clean Virginia had already given $100,000 to both Carroll Foy and Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, signaling initial approval of both candidates without going all in behind one challenger to former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the early frontrunner to win the nomination.

Coming just before the first televised Democratic debate, the group’s formal endorsement of Carroll Foy and accompanying cash infusion could give her a significant lift in the five-person field.

Billing itself as an anti-corruption group, Clean Virginia was formed in 2018 to combat the influence of Dominion Energy, the state-regulated utility many progressives see as exerting undue control over the General Assembly and its energy policy decisions. Bills, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has become one of the top individual donors to Virginia Democrats, has said his goal was to use his own money to counter Dominion’s political donations.

What to know about the 2021 Virginia governor’s race
The Washington Post, Laura VozzellaMarch 17, 2021

Crowded, colorful and novel, the campaign for the commonwealth’s top elected position is one to watch

This year’s race for Virginia governor is more crowded than any other in modern history, perhaps ever, with 13 declared candidates in the running: seven Republicans, five Democrats and one independent. The race is notable for another novelty: a former governor, Terry McAuliffe (D), is seeking a comeback. Since the Civil War, only one person has twice occupied the Executive Mansion: Mills Godwin, who served from 1966 to 1970 as a Democrat and from 1974 to 1978 as a Republican.

The candidates span the political spectrum, from a self-described socialist to a flamboyant Donald Trump ally who has marched through Richmond with an assault rifle. They are vying to replace Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is prohibited by the state constitution from serving back-to-back terms.

By Geoffrey Skelley Filed under Virginia Governor Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Campaigns In Norfolk, Virginia If former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wins a second term, he’d be one of two Virginia governors to pull this off. ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES Over the past two decades, Virginia has transformed from a Republican-leaning state to one that usually votes Democratic statewide. Nevertheless, the GOP hopes to win back Virginia’s governorship this November, and having held full control over the state legislature from 2014 until the 2019 election, that’s not an outlandish goal in a state with such a purplish-blue electoral bent. As such, the two parties are currently duking it out over who their nominee should be, with many of the same trends we see nationally playing out at the state level. For Republicans, that means a debate over how best to pick a nominee as the candidates’ rhetoric demonstrates the lasting pull of former President Trump as well as the new priorities of the GOP more broadly. And with the candidacy of former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic race, that in part mirrors the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential primary, in which an older white man and establishment heavy-hitter faced multiple women and people of color; ultimately in 2020, Biden won partly because of fears primary voters had around “electability” and who could defeat Trump, or in this case, “Trumpism.” Virginia’s recent political leanings may give Democrats the upper hand, but Republicans might benefit from a friendlier electoral environment because of the potential for a backlash against President Biden and the Democrats. After all, there’s a history of that. From 1977 to 2017, there was only one election — 2013 — in which the party in the White House won Virginia’s governorship. So national Republicans will certainly hope anti-Democratic sentiments show themselves in Virginia this November and act as a harbinger of things to come in 2022. Republicans: Going in for Trump — but perhaps not quite all-in But Virginia Republicans have had little to cheer about recently, having lost all 13 contests for statewide office held since 2012.1 During this drought, they’ve also flipped back and forth on how best to pick their nominee: a primary or a convention. Primaries, with their broader electorate, traditionally have been seen as more likely to choose nominees who have more appeal with the general electorate, while conventions with their conservative-activist appeal have tended to favor more ideological candidates. But that doesn’t appear to reflect the state party’s thinking this year. State party leaders decided to go with a convention in December, in large part to prevent one of their most ideologically divisive candidates from winning: state Sen. Amanda Chase. No stranger to controversy — she’s embraced the moniker “Trump in heels” — Chase had the Virginia GOP worried she’d rally enough support to win with a plurality — after all, she led the Republican field in two January polls. But given Chase’s toxic relationship with her own party — she left her party’s Senate caucus in 2019 and some of her Republican colleagues supported a censure vote against her in January — she might have trouble attracting support from a majority of convention delegates to win the nomination, especially in a race with 10 Republican candidates, around half of whom are serious contenders. Of course, it’s possible Chase could still attract enough support to win the nomination. She’s doubling down on an anti-establishment message that the party tried to rig the process against her — even threatening at one point to leave the GOP. But what’s more likely to happen is that delegates will pick one of the other candidates, who might not be “Trump in heels,” but are not exactly shying away from issues that appeal to the party’s pro-Trump base either. Take the widespread Republican belief in “The Big Lie,” or Trump’s false claims about election fraud in the 2020 presidential race. While other GOP contenders aren’t necessarily echoing Chase’s claim that the election was “hijacked,” just one — long-time Del. Kirk Cox — has said Biden legitimately won the election. Meanwhile, the other candidates are playing right into Republican doubts about the electoral system with their plans and messaging. Notably, wealthy businessman Glenn Youngkin has launched an “election integrity task force” as a major part of his campaign, while tech entrepreneur Pete Snyder has also released a detailed election security plan. The catch in Virginia, though, is that a more aggressive Trump-style candidate might play poorly because of the state’s Democratic lean. So some GOP candidates are toning down the messaging, although they’re still drilling into the same themes that national Republicans are fine-tuning ahead of the 2022 midterms, such as fears around “cancel culture,” online censorship and school reopenings. Take Cox, a former speaker of the House of Delegates and holder of a suburban seat that Trump failed to carry in either 2016 or 2020. Running under the label “Conservative Winner” to promote his electability, Cox has attacked “cancel culture” while promising to hold “Big Tech accountable” to protect free speech. Meanwhile, Snyder has primarily focused his campaign message of reopening schools and businesses, using the social media hashtag “#OpenOurSchools” as part of his outreach efforts. And Youngkin has leaned into his image as an outsider who isn’t just another politician, having never before run for office. The convention battle isn’t until May 8,2 which leaves plenty of time for things to change, but right now, the takeaway is this: Chase is an underdog versus the rest of the field for her party’s nomination. But her combative form of politics and embrace of Trump’s politics offers an important lesson: Republican voters everywhere like it and it’s shaping what our elections will look like in 2022 and beyond. The question now is to what lengths will the Virginia GOP go to balance its Trumpian impulses with messaging that might attract more voters in the middle, which will likely be necessary if Republicans want to end their losing streak in purplish-blue Virginia. Democrats: A familiar front-runner and familiar party divides On the Democratic side, über-establishment candidate McAuliffe is trying to win back his old office, having won the governorship in 2013 and serving until now-Gov. Ralph Northam succeeded him following the 2017 election. (Virginia doesn’t allow elected governors to immediately seek reelection.) So if McAuliffe were to win, he’d join an exclusive club. Only one other Virginia governor has ever won two nonconsecutive terms: Mills Godwin, who won as a conservative Democrat in 1965 and then as a Republican in 1973. But McAuliffe’s entry into the contest has raised the ire of some Democrats — including former Gov. Doug Wilder, the first African American ever elected governor in the United States — because McAuliffe, with his high profile and $5.5 million war chest, may swamp multiple candidates of color in the party’s June 8 primary. Most notably, two Black women in the state legislature who have thrown their hats into the ring: state Sen. Jenniffer McClellan, who’d been positioning for years to run, and now-former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, who resigned her seat in December to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. On top of this, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Black man, is also running, although his candidacy looks to have been heavily damaged by past allegations of rape that first broke back in 2019 while Northam experienced a scandal of his own, involving blackface in a school yearbook. But as an older white man facing a number of candidates of color, McAuliffe’s presence in the race certainly raises the question of “electability” — or that he’s more likely to win because he’s a white man. As McAuliffe himself likes to point out, he’s the only candidate to win Virginia’s governorship in the past four decades while his party was in the White House, having won the 2013 general election while Barack Obama was president. Debate over electability was a common theme in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, though, and if McAuliffe’s candidacy is any indication, it’s one that will continue to be an issue for Democrats moving forward. However, perhaps reminiscent of Biden in 2020, McAuliffe also has meaningful support from Black Democrats, including more endorsements from Black members of the state legislature than either McClellan or Carroll Foy. (McAuliffe’s record on voting rights, a hot-button issue, might also help soften some criticisms that he’s crowded out candidates of color as he restored the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of convicted felons during his governorship, including those of many African Americans.) And like Biden, McAuliffe is also unquestionably the best-known Democratic candidate. His high level of name recognition has certainly helped him start out with sizable leads in early public and internal campaign polling, too. But it’s not just name recognition; there’s also a question of just how progressive of a candidate Virginians want. Historically, establishment-oriented politicians have tended to win in Virginia, at least statewide, which is good news for McAuliffe, who leans center-left. But this year, McAuliffe faces at least one serious challenge from his left in Carroll Foy, who has endorsements from multiple labor groups, the pro-Green New Deal Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats. (To a smaller extent, McClellan may also be running to McAuliffe’s left, although she has more establishment-oriented credentials and has touted herself as a “practical progressive.”) For his part, McAuliffe has recognized that progressives have become a stronger political force in Virginia, and he has even promised “big, bold” plans to address inequities in education and promote a clean energy economy. But progressives in the state have still largely been critical of him. Justice Democrats have argued that Virginia “cannot go back” to the “pro-corporate policies” of past administrations, while Carroll Foy has attacked McAuliffe as “a former political party boss and multimillionaire” who is out of touch with everyday Virginians. However, Carroll Foy could face some criticism herself as she isn’t even the most left-wing candidate in this field. A fifth candidate, Del. Lee Carter, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and could also win some support on the left. Ultimately, McAuliffe is betting that his winning track record and relatively popular governorship, along with some strategic tacks to the left, will make him more attractive to Democratic primary voters than his opponents — an approach that worked for Biden in the party’s 2020 nomination contest. And provided Virginia doesn’t swing too far to the right before November, that might be just enough to put McAuliffe on course to make an unusual return to Virginia’s governorship. Geoffrey Skelley is an elections analyst at FiveThirtyEight. @geoffreyvs COMMENTS FILED UNDER Virginia (108 posts) Virginia Governor (15) Terry McAuliffe (4) Virginia Politics (3) Virginia Primary (3) 2021 Governors Elections (1) NEWSLETTER
FiveThirtyEight, Geoffrey SkelleyMarch 24, 2021

Over the past two decades, Virginia has transformed from a Republican-leaning state to one that usually votes Democratic statewide. Nevertheless, the GOP hopes to win back Virginia’s governorship this November, and having held full control over the state legislature from 2014 until the 2019 election, that’s not an outlandish goal in a state with such a purplish-blue electoral bent.

As such, the two parties are currently duking it out over who their nominee should be, with many of the same trends we see nationally playing out at the state level. For Republicans, that means a debate over how best to pick a nominee as the candidates’ rhetoric demonstrates the lasting pull of former President Trump as well as the new priorities of the GOP more broadly. And with the candidacy of former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic race, that in part mirrors the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential primary, in which an older white man and establishment heavy-hitter faced multiple women and people of color; ultimately in 2020, Biden won partly because of fears primary voters had around “electability” and who could defeat Trump, or in this case, “Trumpism.”

Virginia’s recent political leanings may give Democrats the upper hand, but Republicans might benefit from a friendlier electoral environment because of the potential for a backlash against President Biden and the Democrats. After all, there’s a history of that. From 1977 to 2017, there was only one election — 2013 — in which the party in the White House won Virginia’s governorship. So national Republicans will certainly hope anti-Democratic sentiments show themselves in Virginia this November and act as a harbinger of things to come in 2022.

Senator vies for governor's seat after 15 years in legislature
Capital News Service, Hunter Britt March 24, 2021

Supporter says Jennifer McClellan is ‘voice that Virginia needs to hear’

Sen. Jennifer McClellan is one of 13 candidates vying to become Virginia’s next governor; the commonwealth has never elected a woman to the top post.
McClellan, D-Richmond, has helped shape Virginia’s changing political landscape for 15 years as a state legislator. She departed her 11-year post as a delegate representing Charles City County and parts of Richmond City and Henrico and Hanover counties when she won a senate seat in a 2017 special election.
McClellan now looks to the executive mansion.

“We need a governor who can rebuild our economy, our health care, our economic safety net, and help us move forward post-COVID in a way that addresses inequity and brings people that are impacted by these crises together to be a part of that solution,” McClellan said. “I’ve got the experience and perspective to do that.”

When Jennifer Carroll Foy was first thinking of running for office in 2017, she says she sensed she wasn’t the favorite of party leaders. Two years earlier, Democrat Josh King had already come close to flipping the Prince William-area House of Delegates seat she had her eyes on, and several elected Democrats were backing his better-funded campaign in a targeted swing district.

“There was a sentiment of people saying you need to wait your turn and you need to wait your time,” Carroll Foy said in a recent interview. “People believed that you had to be tapped on the shoulder to be able to run.”

She ran anyway and won the primary by a dozen votes. Four years later, she’s trying to build a national profile as she runs for governor, part of a wave of new faces taking their shots the top jobs in state politics.

For Virginia Democrats, the explosion of candidates up and down the ticket in 2021 represents a shift from the orderly, top-down process that once determined whose turn it was to rise to higher office.

Virginia’s Republicans could find opportunities in this year’s elections to end a dozen years in the wilderness if not for their own dysfunction.

In Richmond, a Democratic administration is trying to extricate itself from the quicksand of a Parole Board scandal in which inmates serving life terms for murder were freed without proper notice or explanation followed by efforts to keep results of investigations into the board’s actions from public view.

A newly Democratic General Assembly swiftly enacted a remarkably progressive agenda by Virginia standards that includes elimination of the death penalty. Too much too soon? The election will tell.

The Republican Party of Virginia’s governing body voted Friday to choose its nominee for governor and two other statewide offices in a May 8 convention spread out at 37 sites across the commonwealth.

RPV’s State Central Committee, meeting via videoconference, overwhelmingly adopted a convention call that apportions a different number of sites for each of the state’s 11 congressional districts, accounting for each district’s geography and difficulty of travel.

They range from as many as six polling locations in southwestern Virginia’s sprawling and mountainous 9th District to just one apiece in Northern Virginia’s compact, suburban (and Democratic-voting) 8th, 10th and 11th districts.

The “unassembled convention” plan does not specify cities or locations of polling sites. Districts will have until April 12 to select them and as late as April 24 to amend them.

Four of the five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor in this year’s race met for an online debate Tuesday night that was largely cordial and absent a frontrunning ex-governor.

Del. Lee Carter, former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax took part in the event, which was hosted by political, racial justice, climate and other advocacy groups.

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, whose name recognition, broad support among many sitting lawmakers and fundraising prowess have vaunted him to Democratic frontrunner status, declined to participate.

The event was among the first opportunities of the campaign season for the public to hear from most of the Democratic field in a race considered the country’s marquee political contest of the year.

“Trump in heels,” said at a campaign event that a fellow state senator seeking the Democratic nod in the race would not “be a governor that supports everyone” because of her leadership in the legislative Black caucus.

The remarks about state Sen. Jennifer McClellan came during a campaign event, which Chase said took place Monday night. A video clip was circulated online by Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century.

“I support equal rights not special rights. You know, Sen. McClellan, she is the vice chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. … And I said she will not be a governor that supports everyone,” Chase said in an apparent reference to a similar attack on McClellan last year.

With multiple women and people of color in the Democratic primary, groups that typically support those candidates are mostly sitting out the race so far.

The field of Democratic hopefuls for governor in Virginia is historically diverse. But that very diversity and its crowded size are causing a conflict.

That’s because the outside groups formed to support women and candidates of color are still mostly on the sidelines. And it’s leaving former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a white man and longtime Democratic insider, as the overriding frontrunner with less than three months until the primary.

Normally, these groups, which include well-funded political action committees in Democratic politics, would throw all their support and money behind candidates like Jennifer Carroll Foy or Jennifer McClellan, two African American legislators who would bring diversity to an office that has never been occupied by a woman, and only once by a Black man.

The former Virginia governor, who’s running for another term, spoke with Johnson Feb. 27 over Facebook Live.  The two discussed how the pandemic impacted the restaurant industry and black-owned businesses in particular.

Black-owned companies experienced the brunt the COVID-19 pandemic has had on small businesses. An H & R Block survey from February found 53% of Black business owners saw revenue drop by half. Only 37% of White business owners reported the same.

McAuliffe believes part of the solution is offering more state assistance to small businesses, and specifically minority businesses.

Virginia's off-year elections could pose key test for both parties
CNN, Abby Phillip and Jeff SimonFebruary 28, 2021

Richmond, Virginia
A 16-year political shift has transformed the Commonwealth of Virginia from a solidly red state to a blue one.

Democrats in the state now control all levers of power — the Governor’s mansion, and both chambers of the state legislature — for the first time in a generation. And they are leading in an unapologetically progressive direction.

The story of Virginia politics in 2021 is a tale of two political parties. Democrats are riding a wave of demographic change and suburban revolt away from the GOP to political power. And Republicans are searching for a way forward, while trying to placate a base increasingly loyal to Trump and motivated by conspiratorial views.

As Republicans search for a path forward following Donald Trump’s defeat and the party’s loss of power in Washington, many are looking across the Potomac River to Virginia, where voters will select a new governor this November.

Well before the 2022 midterms or 2024 presidential primaries, the Virginia governor’s race will be a first real test for a post-Trump GOP — not only of whether Republicans can start to win back a state they once reliably held, but in who the party picks as its nominee.

With just three months before the state party’s planned nominating convention, attention has fallen to Amanda Chase, a pro-Trump state senator who spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on January 6. She later called those who stormed the Capitol “patriots” and has insisted the 2020 election was stolen.

Terry McAuliffe is running for governor again. Can anyone beat him?
Virginia Mercury, Graham MoomawDecember 9, 2020

On Wednesday, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe officially announced he’s running for a second term, launching a rare comeback bid pundits and political strategists say will be difficult, but not impossible, for other gubernatorial hopefuls to stop.

“Certainly he comes into the race in a very formidable position,” said veteran political commentator Bob Holsworth. “He’s a popular former governor. He has tons of resources. And he loves to campaign. At the same time, the open question in this campaign is whether he is the person for the moment.”

Long an open secret in state politics, McAuliffe made his 2021 campaign official in an appearance at a Richmond elementary school, where he was joined by a group of Black leaders. Among them were Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, and Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, who will serve as co-chairs of McAuliffe’s campaign.

We’re about to see how serious Virginia is when it comes to advancing women in the highest elective offices in the commonwealth, and that’s particularly true for Democrats.

After the briefest respite, Virginia politics revs back up and enters the national spotlight when we elect our 74th governor next year.

Not one of the first 73 — and we’ve been doing this since Patrick Henry in 1776 — has been a woman. It’s one of the longest-running perpetual fraternities in American politics. With female candidates — declared, undeclared and still mulling it over — queueing up for both parties’ nomination sweepstakes, 2021 could be the year when that changes.

A total of 44 women have served as governors in 32 U.S. states and territories dating to 1925 when Wyoming elected Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross, five years after women won the right to vote. Most of women’s success in governors’ races has come in the 21st century when 30 of those 44 women took office in 23 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, five of which have elected women governors twice during that time.

Summary

The 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election will be held on November 2, 2021, to elect the next governor of Virginia. Incumbent Democratic Governor Ralph Northam is unable to run for reelection, as the Constitution of Virginia prohibits the officeholder from serving consecutive terms.

The Democratic Party will select its candidate in a primary election on June 8, 2021. The Republican Party will hold a drive-thru convention on May 8, 2021 at Liberty University Princess Blanding is running under the newly formed Liberation Party.

General Election polls:

SourceRankingAs of
The Cook Political Report[57]Likely DFebruary 1, 2021
270toWin[58]Likely DFebruary 3, 2021
Inside Elections[59]Likely DFebruary 19, 2021

News

i

Virginia state elections in 2021 will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Democratic party primary elections are scheduled to be held on June 8, 2021.

Governor

Main article:   2021 Virginia gubernatorial election

Incumbent Democratic governor Ralph Northam is unable to run for reelection, as the Constitution of Virginia prohibits the officeholder from serving consecutive terms. He was elected in 2017 with 53.9% of the vote, the most for a Democratic candidate in a statewide race.

Lieutenant Governor

Main article:  2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election
Incumbent lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax is eligible to run for a second term, but is instead running for governor.[2] He was first elected in 2017 with 52.7% of the vote.

Attorney General

 Main article:  2021 Virginia Attorney General election
Incumbent attorney general Mark Herring is running for re-election to a third term. He was re-elected in 2017 with 53.3% of the vote. A primary challenge by Delegate Jay Jones is supported by Governor Ralph Northam[3] as well as several federal and state legislators.

House of Delegates

Main article:   2021 Virginia House of Delegates election
All 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election.[4] The chamber is currently controlled by Democrats after the 2019 elections, holding a majority of ten seats.

Winning elections for the past five years has been low-hanging fruit for Democrats in Virginia, and the reason can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump.

The divisive former president’s unpopularity in the commonwealth has had the net effect of turning Virginia – where no Republican has won a statewide race since 2009 – from deep purple to a bright cobalt blue.

Consider that since 2016, the year Trump led his party’s ticket and won the presidency, the GOP in Virginia has lost: two U.S. Senate races; the 2017 gubernatorial race; its U.S. House of Representatives majority; its majority in the Virginia Senate and; its House of Delegates majority. The last time the Republican Party found itself so shut out of Virginia political power was 1969.

Del. Hala Ayala, the newly minted Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, drew harsh criticism in the final days of the campaign for flipping on a promise to refuse campaign donations from state-regulated monopolies.

Her campaign ducked questions about the decision last week after finance reports revealed she had accepted a $100,000 donation from Dominion Energy, but in an interview at a polling place in Prince William on Tuesday, she suggested the decision came down to being able to fund her campaign’s voter outreach.

“It’s about talking to voters, right? And making sure we communicate and get our message out because it overwhelmingly resonates, as you’ve seen,” she said.

McAuliffe’s sweep beat expectations that were already sky-high
Virginia Mercury, Graham Moomaw| Ned OliverJune 9, 2021

Terry McAuliffe won Petersburg, the hometown of one of his top opponents, former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, who had accused him of neglecting the majority-Black city during his first term.

He won in Richmond, where Sen. Jennifer McClellan had an advantage due to her strong local following.

He won in Nelson County, a hotbed of opposition to the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline project that earned McAuliffe the ire of activists who pressed unsuccessfully for him to block it during his first term.

He got almost 65 percent support in Fairfax County, the biggest prize in prosperous Northern Virginia. He did just as well or better in far Southwest Virginia, a region with some of the lowest per-capita incomes in the state.

He won everywhere. Literally.

Primary voters in Virginia delivered a rebuke to the left wing of the Democratic party on Tuesday, sweeping three outspoken incumbents from office and rejecting progressive challengers in all but one race.

By the end of the night, voters had booted Dels. Lee Carter, D-Prince William, the General Assembly’s only socialist; Ibraheem Samirah, D-Fairfax, a progressive activist who protested Trump during an official visit; and Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, one of the chamber’s most forceful proponents of gun control.

“We just need to be on the same team as much as possible,” said Lisa Giovanini, a stay-at-home mom in Fairfax who said she had supported Samirah in years prior but said she disliked his confrontational style and unwillingness to cooperate with party leadership.

McAuliffe crushes competitors in Democratic primary for governor
Virginia Mercury, Graham Moomaw –June 8, 2021

For anyone wondering how Terry McAuliffe was feeling before Virginia’s gubernatorial primary, his election-eve shimmying spree was a solid indicator.

The almost-victory dance became the real thing Tuesday as the former governor and prolific Democratic fundraiser cruised to a lopsided win in a split field, setting up a general-election matchup with deep-pocketed Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.

Tuesday’s victory cements McAuliffe’s return to the forefront of Virginia politics after serving as governor from 2014 to 2018. He had to leave office due to Virginia’s ban on governors serving consecutive terms, but there was nothing stopping him running again after a brief hiatus in which he explored the idea of a presidential run or a potential post in President Joe Biden’s cabinet.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be the commonwealth’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee, CNN projected on Tuesday, besting four other primary challengers as he seeks to become the first person in decades to serve multiple terms as top executive of a commonwealth that bars governors from consecutive terms.

McAuliffe’s win sets a general election between the former governor and Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. The race in Virginia, one of two states that hold off-year elections for governor after presidential elections, will be closely watched in Washington, DC, and beyond as it is often seen as a bellwether for the subsequent midterms.

McAuliffe wasted no time going after the Republican nominee on Tuesday, using part of his victory speech to link Youngkin to former President Donald Trump — a preview of what will be most of the former governor’s general election message.

As he runs for a second term, Terry McAuliffe is presenting himself as a policy-heavy candidate, talking up the 130 pages of “big bold plans” listed on his website. But the former governor, seen as a strong favorite to win his party’s nomination for governor in next week’s primary, has studiously avoided taking a clear position on one of his party’s major policy divides: repealing Virginia’s longstanding right-to-work law.

Three of five candidates in the Democratic gubernatorial field — former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Del. Lee Carter — support repealing the law, which impedes the power of organized labor by allowing workers to avoid paying mandatory union dues. Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, has said she supports pro-union policies but doesn’t support compulsory union fees.

Cheap labor has long been part of Virginia’s pitch to prospective businesses, owing partly to the right-to-work law that’s been on the books since 1947.

 

With Republicans and Democrats alike reluctant to put limits on Virginia’s wide-open campaign finance system, money has been pouring into primary contests in what’s going to be a high-stakes election year.

And the batch of campaign finance numbers released this week seemed to have something for everyone not to like.

One week out from the June 8 primaries, here are four things that stood out in the latest reports, covering April 1 through May 27, as compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.

The fourth and final debate of Virginia’s Democratic primary for governor was the most contentious yet as progressive candidates tried to portray frontrunner Terry McAuliffe as out of step with the type of message the party needs to deliver to keep the state blue.

One week out from the primary, it remains to be seen whether the attacks on the former governor will dramatically alter the race, which McAuliffe seems to have dominated ever since he announced he was making the rare move of seeking a second term after leaving office in early 2018.

But the last debate, held at Christopher Newport University in Newport News and televised by Hampton Roads-based TV station WVEC, showed McAuliffe’s opponents weren’t interested in a sleepy primary finish even as McAuliffe signaled that he’s looking ahead to the general-election matchup against Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.

The Democrats’ New Trump Problem
The Atlantic, Elaine GodfreyMay 26, 2021

LEESBURG, Va.—I smelled their perfume before I saw them, the small troop of middle-aged women marching toward the park pavilion one night last week, with their flowy blouses and short blond bobs and oversize black sunglasses. They sat around picnic tables with a handful of other volunteers, mostly women, and awaited instruction. They were not here to mess around. They were here for democracy.

The evening’s project: the first door-knocking event of the election season for the Virginia state delegate Wendy Gooditis, a 61-year-old Democrat and former real-estate agent first elected in 2017. Gooditis, like many other women across the country, ran for office that year because she was angry about Donald Trump’s election. Similarly angry suburbanites helped her unseat the district’s two-term Republican incumbent. In 2019, she defeated him again as part of a wave of anti-Trump backlash that helped Virginia Democrats take back the House of Delegates. But now, with her third campaign ramping up and Trump no longer in office, Gooditis needs to figure out a way to keep the enthusiasm alive.

 

“I know it is early to knock on doors, but we just have to keep people awake,” Gooditis said, standing in front of the picnic tables and addressing her volunteers. She wore pink skinny jeans, and her long brown hair hung down her back. “Our job tonight is to remind people that there’s a long way to go.”

The Virginia House Democratic Caucus authorized and funded attack mailers that falsely imply two of the state’s top donors to Democrats are right-wing “dark money billionaires,” according to an image of the mailer obtained by The Virginia Mercury.

The caucus-backed messages were sent in support of new Del. Candi King, D-Prince William, who has accepted money from Dominion Energy, against primary challenger Pam Montgomery, who is backed by the advocacy group Clean Virginia, which presses Virginia legislators to refuse campaign donations from Dominion.

The mailers include a picture of a book labeled “RIGHT WING PLAYBOOK,” call Montgomery “a distraction, not a Democrat” and include an unexplained photo of Montgomery with former New York Mayor and occasional Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, an image that appeared to be taken from an old website for an investment company Montgomery ran with her husband. Montgomery works as the chief of staff for a Democratic member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

This could get ugly
Virginia Mercury, Richard Meagher, OpinionMay 20, 2021

Virginia Republicans are flying high right now. After an unprecedented but ultimately successful “unassembled convention,” the party’s ticket for statewide office is set. Party leaders are especially excited about their nominee for governor, Glenn Youngkin, a tall and telegenic newcomer to politics with especially deep pockets.

With lieutenant governor nominee Winsome Sears, a veteran and Jamaican immigrant, and Cuban-American Jason Miyares for attorney general, the Republicans have rightly crowed that their ticket will likely end up featuring more diversity than the Democrats. (Although just like last year’s national election, both party’s tickets look to be led by rich White dudes, so let’s not get too excited.)

Republicans in Virginia also are hopeful that history is on their side. In the past, the national mood often swings against the party in power after a presidential election. Since Virginia unusually runs statewide elections in odd years, 2021 offers an early test of whether the country is turning towards Republicans.

The five Democratic candidates for governor in Virginia squared off in a virtual debate Thursday night, the third of four debates scheduled before the June 8 primary.

The hourlong event hosted by NBC4 Washington covered much of the same territory as the first two debates, with former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Jennifer McClellan, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy and Del. Lee Carter laying out their plans for COVID-19 recovery, education, police reform and health care with few opportunities for extended back-and-forth between candidates.

Some of the most direct answers of the night came when moderator Chuck Todd of NBC News asked questions about electability and qualifications tailored specifically to each candidate.

Despite the early efforts to paint the Republicans’ 2021 ticket as an overwhelming lurch to the right, the slate isn’t nearly as extreme as it might’ve been. Instead of Chase, a self-described “Trump in heels,” becoming the party’s standard-bearer in a state former President Donald Trump lost twice, she logged off and went to the beach.

After failing to win a statewide election since 2009, some Republicans say they feel surprisingly good about where the party stands coming out of a chaotic unassembled convention marked by procedural confusion, mysterious attack ads and infighting.

“I think some of the ebullience you see in Republicans right now is that this could’ve been very bad. And it turned into the exact opposite,” said Shaun Kenney, a former Republican Party of Virginia executive director who has criticized fringe elements in the party. “But it’s more than just a sigh of relief. It’s like we finally know where we’re headed.”

In the GOP field of gubernatorial candidates, only one was ever willing to call Joe Biden the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election.

It was not Glenn Youngkin, who won the Republican nomination this week.

That changed pretty quickly this week as he began his pivot to the general election.

His campaign emailed reporters Wednesday a clip from an appearance on a radio show earlier in the day, where he was asked, “When you’re asked the question, flat out, was the election of 2020 legitimate or not, what are you going to say?”

Youngkin responded, “I’m saying, of course. He’s our president. He slept in the White House last night. He’s addressed a Joint Session of Congress. He’s signing executive orders that I wish he wasn’t signing.”

GALAX, Virginia — Republican gubernatorial candidate Kirk Cox was several minutes into a wonky election security answer at a diner when January 6 came up again.

Did President Joe Biden win the election? Cox avoided directly answering the question at this recent event, though he had previously acknowledged that reality, the one GOP frontrunner willing to do so.

Instead, he refocused on proposals like voter ID requirements, which are popular with lots of voters. But now Lin, a Trump supporter who had posed the Biden question, had another one. She wanted to know whether he agreed with the Virginia Senate censuring one of its members, Amanda Chase, after she called the people who stormed the US Capitol that day in January “patriots.”

He’s ultra-rich, enjoys tubing and shotguns and, until a few months ago, was virtually unknown in Virginia political circles.

Glenn Youngkin emerged as the Virginia GOP’s nominee for governor on Monday after a relatively drama-free day of vote counting that saw the 54-year-old former CEO of the Carlyle Group maintain a comfortable lead through successive rounds of vote counting in the ranked-choice contest.

“I am prepared to lead, excited to serve and profoundly humbled by the trust the people have placed in me,” Youngkin wrote in a tweet. “Virginians have made it clear that they are ready for a political outsider with proven business experience to bring real change in Richmond.”

The first statewide Republican nominating contest since former President Donald Trump left office has added a new issue to the top tier of traditional GOP campaign messages: “election integrity.”

All four of the leading Republican candidates for this weekend’s “unassembled convention,” where Republican delegates will vote for their nominee at 39 sites around the state, are talking about election and voting rules on the trail and in ads, with some putting forth detailed plans for how they would change Virginia’s election rules.

The proposals are an unmistakable response to Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, which quickly became a cause on the right. “Election integrity” is far from the only thing Republicans are discussing on the trail, with guns, abortion and pandemic policies all playing key roles, too. But the renewed focus on voting laws by four candidates trying to appeal to convention delegates underscores how much this issue is on the minds of Republican voters — and that Republicans who win state office in Virginia and elsewhere are poised to count changing voting laws among their top priorities.

Opponents press McAuliffe on Amazon, policing in second Democratic primary debate
Virginia Mercury, https://www.virginiamercury.com/2021/05/06/mcauliffe-pressed-on-amazon-policing-in-second-democratic-primary-debate/May 6, 2021

Several Democratic candidates for governor took shots at frontrunner Terry McAuliffe during the second televised debate of the campaign Thursday night, leaving the former governor defending his record on policing, luring Amazon to Virginia and assisting impoverished, majority-Black communities like Petersburg.

But there didn’t appear to be a single, standout moment that might dramatically alter the dynamics of the race one month out from the June 8 primary. In his closing statement, McAuliffe, a former governor seeking a rare second term in office, signaled he’s already looking ahead to the general election and the coming fight against whomever Republicans nominate for governor at their convention this weekend.

“You look at the Republicans, who they’ll nominate in two days. They’re fawning all over Donald Trump. They’re trying to bring their Trump politics here to Virginia,” McAuliffe said. “We can’t allow it. We’ve got to stop them.”

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Being a voter’s second choice is usually a recipe for disaster for a political candidate, but in this year’s chaotic GOP gubernatorial race in Virginia, second-place status could be a winning ticket.

Seven candidates are vying for the Republican nomination at what the GOP is calling an “unassembled convention” this Saturday.

None of the four top-tier candidates — Pete Snyder, Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox and Glenn Youngkin — have established themselves as a clear front-runner. As a result, under the ranked-choice voting system the GOP is using, the winner will almost certainly need to be the second choice of numerous voters, and perhaps even the third choice, to secure the nomination.

Republicans around Virginia streamed into voting sites Saturday to choose their nominee for governor, and in Caroline County, Don Denton was first in line.

He said he was backing Amanda Chase, a state senator who ran a hard-right campaign and pitched herself as “Trump in heels” despite the former president’s overwhelming losses in Virginia, which has grown progressively bluer in the 11 years since a Republican last won a statewide election.

A 73-year-old former Marine sergeant, Denton compared Chase’s tactics — which have made her a pariah to many mainstream Republicans and a populist champion for those who prefer more combative politics — to military leaders ordering soldiers to take a hill knowing “a certain percentage of them” will die.

The Republican Party of Virginia has a chance this year to reestablish itself as a competitive force in statewide elections.

After a dozen years without a statewide victory, the GOP leadership needed to take a careful look within to understand why voters have turned their backs on the once dominant political party in Virginia. It appears that party leaders decided that with the right method of nominating candidates for statewide office, they can change their fortunes.

Republican Party leaders   generally have favored conventions as a means of selecting nominees for statewide offices. The closed process, open only to the most inside of GOP insiders and dominated by some of its most conservative voices, has had a mixed record of success.

There’s no clear front runner.

There are four obvious leaders in the seven-person field, but beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess who’s most likely to win.

“It’s the most difficult race to handicap imaginable,” said veteran political commentator Bob Holsworth, pointing to the GOP’s plan to employ ranked-choice voting and a system that weights delegates’ votes based on the partisan leanings of their home locality.

Former state Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy’s supporters say she is best-positioned to challenge the former governor, but she has yet to gain broad name recognition.

In Virginia, 2021 was the best chance yet to elect a Black politician — and possibly the first Black woman in any state — to the governor’s mansion.

But with five weeks until the commonwealth’s Democratic primary, Terry McAuliffe, its white male former governor, is on track to secure the nomination easily.

More than 53,000 delegates register to vote in Virginia GOP convention
Virginia Mercury, Ned Oliver April 28, 2021

The Virginia GOP says 53,524 delegates have registered to vote in the party’s nominating convention next week, in which Republicans will select their candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson announced the number at a candidate forum on Tuesday evening, predicting the event would be “the largest state party convention ever in American history.”

The convention is set for Saturday, May 8, and, unlike a traditional convention held at a single location, will take place at voting locations set up around the state to comply with COVID-19 safety rules.

Mystery groups spend thousands trashing GOP candidates for governor
Virginia Mercury, Graham MoomawApril 15, 2021

In Virginia Cornerstone PAC’s video ads, Glenn Youngkin is an out-of-touch elitist whose global investment firm did business in China and paid Hillary Clinton $200,000 in speaking fees.

In mailers sent out by the Commonwealth Conservative Fund, Pete Snyder, aka “Sneaky Pete,” is a RINO who once said Donald Trump sounded like a “racist jerk.”

On the First Principles Fund website, Kirk Cox is a career politician, phony conservative and a “lead architect” of Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

McAuliffe showed leadership on guns
Roanoke Times, Andy Parker – OpinionApril 14, 2021

Tragically, every day many Virginians continue to feel the heartache caused by gun violence. In the last 15 years alone, Virginians have had to witness mass shootings at Virginia Tech, Virginia Beach, and in Alexandria during a congressional baseball game. We made great strides to curb gun violence in this past legislative session, thanks to the leadership of Gov. Ralph Northam and the Democratic majorities in the General Assembly. Virginia finally passed crucial gun violence prevention measures, but we need to make sure our next governor continues to push our Commonwealth forward.

We need a leader who has the vision to roll out bold, comprehensive gun violence prevention plans, and I believe Terry McAuliffe is that leader. Terry is not afraid to stand up against extremist groups like the NRA, and in fact was the first southern governor to be elected after running with an “F” rating from the NRA. As Virginia’s 72nd governor, he fought the gun lobby and vetoed numerous radical Republican proposals that would have made our Commonwealth less safe. And as Virginia’s next governor, I know he won’t tinker around the edges. He’s going to go big when it comes to gun violence prevention. Terry recently released his gun violence prevention plan which includes a number of much-needed reforms.

Virginia’s next governor must be a climate champion
Virginia Mercury, Jolene Mafnas, OpinionApril 9, 2021

With early voting beginning later this month in the gubernatorial primary, candidates for Virginia’s highest political office are already off to the races. As candidates work to carve out a niche for themselves among the crowded field, they are turning to climate change to make their boldest proposals.

A few weeks ago, my organization, Food & Water Watch, was proud to co-sponsor one of the first debates between candidates, the Virginia People’s Debates. All Democratic candidates for the role, save one, came to speak candidly on their policies, using the opportunity to speak to engaged constituents about the greatest converging existential threats of our time: climate change and environmental justice.

In a refreshing departure from previous administrations, all the candidates that came to the event pledged not to accept any campaign donations (direct or indirect) from Dominion Energy or any other state regulated corporations. All candidates also pledged to support a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure and to halt new permits for pending fossil fuel projects.

Northam endorses McAuliffe for Va. governor
AP, Sarah RankinApril 8, 2021

Northam endorses McAuliffe in the race to succeed him, handing his predecessor one of the contest’s most coveted endorsements.

Northam, who under Virginia law cannot seek a consecutive term in office, said McAuliffe’s accomplishments during his previous term in the governor’s mansion show he is the right person for the job.

“Terry’s strong record of delivering for Virginians is exactly why we need him as our next governor,” Northam said in a statement shared with The Associated Press ahead of the formal announcement. “We will need bold leadership ready to build a more equitable post-COVID economy that creates jobs, invests in workers, ensures equitable access to quality affordable health care, and rebuilds Virginia’s thriving network of small businesses.”

4 moments that stood out during the first Democratic gubernatorial debate
Virginia Mercury, Graham Moomaw –April 6, 2021

The first televised debate of Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary started out tame Tuesday evening, with almost 25 minutes of civil discussion about how the five candidates onstage plan to lead the state out of it.

The second half took a sharper turn, with several attacks against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, veering into a more pointed discussions of race, guns police tactics and government accountability.

Running as a quasi-incumbent, McAuliffe is considered the frontrunner in a field that includes Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas.

The GOP candidates for governor had just finished introducing themselves to members of the Princess Anne Republican Women’s Club when the forum’s moderator realized she had misplaced her list of questions.

Not a problem, she said: “I do remember one off the top of my head, so we’ll go with the elephant in the room. … The elephant in the room is election integrity.”

Not even Donald Trump alleged voter fraud contributed to his 10-point loss in Virginia last November. But the former president’s baseless post-election allegations have nonetheless dominated debate among Virginia Republicans as they prepare to select their nominee for governor in this year’s election.

Clean Virginia backs Carroll Foy for governor with $500K donation
Virginia Mercury, Graham Moomaw April 5, 2021

The advocacy group Clean Virginia is endorsing Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy for governor, support that comes with an eye-popping $500,000 PAC donation to the former state delegate’s campaign.

Founded and financed by wealthy Charlottesville investor Michael Bills, Clean Virginia had already given $100,000 to both Carroll Foy and Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, signaling initial approval of both candidates without going all in behind one challenger to former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the early frontrunner to win the nomination.

Coming just before the first televised Democratic debate, the group’s formal endorsement of Carroll Foy and accompanying cash infusion could give her a significant lift in the five-person field.

Billing itself as an anti-corruption group, Clean Virginia was formed in 2018 to combat the influence of Dominion Energy, the state-regulated utility many progressives see as exerting undue control over the General Assembly and its energy policy decisions. Bills, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has become one of the top individual donors to Virginia Democrats, has said his goal was to use his own money to counter Dominion’s political donations.

What to know about the 2021 Virginia governor’s race
The Washington Post, Laura VozzellaMarch 17, 2021

Crowded, colorful and novel, the campaign for the commonwealth’s top elected position is one to watch

This year’s race for Virginia governor is more crowded than any other in modern history, perhaps ever, with 13 declared candidates in the running: seven Republicans, five Democrats and one independent. The race is notable for another novelty: a former governor, Terry McAuliffe (D), is seeking a comeback. Since the Civil War, only one person has twice occupied the Executive Mansion: Mills Godwin, who served from 1966 to 1970 as a Democrat and from 1974 to 1978 as a Republican.

The candidates span the political spectrum, from a self-described socialist to a flamboyant Donald Trump ally who has marched through Richmond with an assault rifle. They are vying to replace Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is prohibited by the state constitution from serving back-to-back terms.

By Geoffrey Skelley Filed under Virginia Governor Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Campaigns In Norfolk, Virginia If former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wins a second term, he’d be one of two Virginia governors to pull this off. ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES Over the past two decades, Virginia has transformed from a Republican-leaning state to one that usually votes Democratic statewide. Nevertheless, the GOP hopes to win back Virginia’s governorship this November, and having held full control over the state legislature from 2014 until the 2019 election, that’s not an outlandish goal in a state with such a purplish-blue electoral bent. As such, the two parties are currently duking it out over who their nominee should be, with many of the same trends we see nationally playing out at the state level. For Republicans, that means a debate over how best to pick a nominee as the candidates’ rhetoric demonstrates the lasting pull of former President Trump as well as the new priorities of the GOP more broadly. And with the candidacy of former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic race, that in part mirrors the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential primary, in which an older white man and establishment heavy-hitter faced multiple women and people of color; ultimately in 2020, Biden won partly because of fears primary voters had around “electability” and who could defeat Trump, or in this case, “Trumpism.” Virginia’s recent political leanings may give Democrats the upper hand, but Republicans might benefit from a friendlier electoral environment because of the potential for a backlash against President Biden and the Democrats. After all, there’s a history of that. From 1977 to 2017, there was only one election — 2013 — in which the party in the White House won Virginia’s governorship. So national Republicans will certainly hope anti-Democratic sentiments show themselves in Virginia this November and act as a harbinger of things to come in 2022. Republicans: Going in for Trump — but perhaps not quite all-in But Virginia Republicans have had little to cheer about recently, having lost all 13 contests for statewide office held since 2012.1 During this drought, they’ve also flipped back and forth on how best to pick their nominee: a primary or a convention. Primaries, with their broader electorate, traditionally have been seen as more likely to choose nominees who have more appeal with the general electorate, while conventions with their conservative-activist appeal have tended to favor more ideological candidates. But that doesn’t appear to reflect the state party’s thinking this year. State party leaders decided to go with a convention in December, in large part to prevent one of their most ideologically divisive candidates from winning: state Sen. Amanda Chase. No stranger to controversy — she’s embraced the moniker “Trump in heels” — Chase had the Virginia GOP worried she’d rally enough support to win with a plurality — after all, she led the Republican field in two January polls. But given Chase’s toxic relationship with her own party — she left her party’s Senate caucus in 2019 and some of her Republican colleagues supported a censure vote against her in January — she might have trouble attracting support from a majority of convention delegates to win the nomination, especially in a race with 10 Republican candidates, around half of whom are serious contenders. Of course, it’s possible Chase could still attract enough support to win the nomination. She’s doubling down on an anti-establishment message that the party tried to rig the process against her — even threatening at one point to leave the GOP. But what’s more likely to happen is that delegates will pick one of the other candidates, who might not be “Trump in heels,” but are not exactly shying away from issues that appeal to the party’s pro-Trump base either. Take the widespread Republican belief in “The Big Lie,” or Trump’s false claims about election fraud in the 2020 presidential race. While other GOP contenders aren’t necessarily echoing Chase’s claim that the election was “hijacked,” just one — long-time Del. Kirk Cox — has said Biden legitimately won the election. Meanwhile, the other candidates are playing right into Republican doubts about the electoral system with their plans and messaging. Notably, wealthy businessman Glenn Youngkin has launched an “election integrity task force” as a major part of his campaign, while tech entrepreneur Pete Snyder has also released a detailed election security plan. The catch in Virginia, though, is that a more aggressive Trump-style candidate might play poorly because of the state’s Democratic lean. So some GOP candidates are toning down the messaging, although they’re still drilling into the same themes that national Republicans are fine-tuning ahead of the 2022 midterms, such as fears around “cancel culture,” online censorship and school reopenings. Take Cox, a former speaker of the House of Delegates and holder of a suburban seat that Trump failed to carry in either 2016 or 2020. Running under the label “Conservative Winner” to promote his electability, Cox has attacked “cancel culture” while promising to hold “Big Tech accountable” to protect free speech. Meanwhile, Snyder has primarily focused his campaign message of reopening schools and businesses, using the social media hashtag “#OpenOurSchools” as part of his outreach efforts. And Youngkin has leaned into his image as an outsider who isn’t just another politician, having never before run for office. The convention battle isn’t until May 8,2 which leaves plenty of time for things to change, but right now, the takeaway is this: Chase is an underdog versus the rest of the field for her party’s nomination. But her combative form of politics and embrace of Trump’s politics offers an important lesson: Republican voters everywhere like it and it’s shaping what our elections will look like in 2022 and beyond. The question now is to what lengths will the Virginia GOP go to balance its Trumpian impulses with messaging that might attract more voters in the middle, which will likely be necessary if Republicans want to end their losing streak in purplish-blue Virginia. Democrats: A familiar front-runner and familiar party divides On the Democratic side, über-establishment candidate McAuliffe is trying to win back his old office, having won the governorship in 2013 and serving until now-Gov. Ralph Northam succeeded him following the 2017 election. (Virginia doesn’t allow elected governors to immediately seek reelection.) So if McAuliffe were to win, he’d join an exclusive club. Only one other Virginia governor has ever won two nonconsecutive terms: Mills Godwin, who won as a conservative Democrat in 1965 and then as a Republican in 1973. But McAuliffe’s entry into the contest has raised the ire of some Democrats — including former Gov. Doug Wilder, the first African American ever elected governor in the United States — because McAuliffe, with his high profile and $5.5 million war chest, may swamp multiple candidates of color in the party’s June 8 primary. Most notably, two Black women in the state legislature who have thrown their hats into the ring: state Sen. Jenniffer McClellan, who’d been positioning for years to run, and now-former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, who resigned her seat in December to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. On top of this, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Black man, is also running, although his candidacy looks to have been heavily damaged by past allegations of rape that first broke back in 2019 while Northam experienced a scandal of his own, involving blackface in a school yearbook. But as an older white man facing a number of candidates of color, McAuliffe’s presence in the race certainly raises the question of “electability” — or that he’s more likely to win because he’s a white man. As McAuliffe himself likes to point out, he’s the only candidate to win Virginia’s governorship in the past four decades while his party was in the White House, having won the 2013 general election while Barack Obama was president. Debate over electability was a common theme in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, though, and if McAuliffe’s candidacy is any indication, it’s one that will continue to be an issue for Democrats moving forward. However, perhaps reminiscent of Biden in 2020, McAuliffe also has meaningful support from Black Democrats, including more endorsements from Black members of the state legislature than either McClellan or Carroll Foy. (McAuliffe’s record on voting rights, a hot-button issue, might also help soften some criticisms that he’s crowded out candidates of color as he restored the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of convicted felons during his governorship, including those of many African Americans.) And like Biden, McAuliffe is also unquestionably the best-known Democratic candidate. His high level of name recognition has certainly helped him start out with sizable leads in early public and internal campaign polling, too. But it’s not just name recognition; there’s also a question of just how progressive of a candidate Virginians want. Historically, establishment-oriented politicians have tended to win in Virginia, at least statewide, which is good news for McAuliffe, who leans center-left. But this year, McAuliffe faces at least one serious challenge from his left in Carroll Foy, who has endorsements from multiple labor groups, the pro-Green New Deal Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats. (To a smaller extent, McClellan may also be running to McAuliffe’s left, although she has more establishment-oriented credentials and has touted herself as a “practical progressive.”) For his part, McAuliffe has recognized that progressives have become a stronger political force in Virginia, and he has even promised “big, bold” plans to address inequities in education and promote a clean energy economy. But progressives in the state have still largely been critical of him. Justice Democrats have argued that Virginia “cannot go back” to the “pro-corporate policies” of past administrations, while Carroll Foy has attacked McAuliffe as “a former political party boss and multimillionaire” who is out of touch with everyday Virginians. However, Carroll Foy could face some criticism herself as she isn’t even the most left-wing candidate in this field. A fifth candidate, Del. Lee Carter, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and could also win some support on the left. Ultimately, McAuliffe is betting that his winning track record and relatively popular governorship, along with some strategic tacks to the left, will make him more attractive to Democratic primary voters than his opponents — an approach that worked for Biden in the party’s 2020 nomination contest. And provided Virginia doesn’t swing too far to the right before November, that might be just enough to put McAuliffe on course to make an unusual return to Virginia’s governorship. Geoffrey Skelley is an elections analyst at FiveThirtyEight. @geoffreyvs COMMENTS FILED UNDER Virginia (108 posts) Virginia Governor (15) Terry McAuliffe (4) Virginia Politics (3) Virginia Primary (3) 2021 Governors Elections (1) NEWSLETTER
FiveThirtyEight, Geoffrey SkelleyMarch 24, 2021

Over the past two decades, Virginia has transformed from a Republican-leaning state to one that usually votes Democratic statewide. Nevertheless, the GOP hopes to win back Virginia’s governorship this November, and having held full control over the state legislature from 2014 until the 2019 election, that’s not an outlandish goal in a state with such a purplish-blue electoral bent.

As such, the two parties are currently duking it out over who their nominee should be, with many of the same trends we see nationally playing out at the state level. For Republicans, that means a debate over how best to pick a nominee as the candidates’ rhetoric demonstrates the lasting pull of former President Trump as well as the new priorities of the GOP more broadly. And with the candidacy of former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic race, that in part mirrors the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential primary, in which an older white man and establishment heavy-hitter faced multiple women and people of color; ultimately in 2020, Biden won partly because of fears primary voters had around “electability” and who could defeat Trump, or in this case, “Trumpism.”

Virginia’s recent political leanings may give Democrats the upper hand, but Republicans might benefit from a friendlier electoral environment because of the potential for a backlash against President Biden and the Democrats. After all, there’s a history of that. From 1977 to 2017, there was only one election — 2013 — in which the party in the White House won Virginia’s governorship. So national Republicans will certainly hope anti-Democratic sentiments show themselves in Virginia this November and act as a harbinger of things to come in 2022.

Senator vies for governor’s seat after 15 years in legislature
Capital News Service, Hunter Britt March 24, 2021

Supporter says Jennifer McClellan is ‘voice that Virginia needs to hear’

Sen. Jennifer McClellan is one of 13 candidates vying to become Virginia’s next governor; the commonwealth has never elected a woman to the top post.
McClellan, D-Richmond, has helped shape Virginia’s changing political landscape for 15 years as a state legislator. She departed her 11-year post as a delegate representing Charles City County and parts of Richmond City and Henrico and Hanover counties when she won a senate seat in a 2017 special election.
McClellan now looks to the executive mansion.

“We need a governor who can rebuild our economy, our health care, our economic safety net, and help us move forward post-COVID in a way that addresses inequity and brings people that are impacted by these crises together to be a part of that solution,” McClellan said. “I’ve got the experience and perspective to do that.”

When Jennifer Carroll Foy was first thinking of running for office in 2017, she says she sensed she wasn’t the favorite of party leaders. Two years earlier, Democrat Josh King had already come close to flipping the Prince William-area House of Delegates seat she had her eyes on, and several elected Democrats were backing his better-funded campaign in a targeted swing district.

“There was a sentiment of people saying you need to wait your turn and you need to wait your time,” Carroll Foy said in a recent interview. “People believed that you had to be tapped on the shoulder to be able to run.”

She ran anyway and won the primary by a dozen votes. Four years later, she’s trying to build a national profile as she runs for governor, part of a wave of new faces taking their shots the top jobs in state politics.

For Virginia Democrats, the explosion of candidates up and down the ticket in 2021 represents a shift from the orderly, top-down process that once determined whose turn it was to rise to higher office.

Virginia’s Republicans could find opportunities in this year’s elections to end a dozen years in the wilderness if not for their own dysfunction.

In Richmond, a Democratic administration is trying to extricate itself from the quicksand of a Parole Board scandal in which inmates serving life terms for murder were freed without proper notice or explanation followed by efforts to keep results of investigations into the board’s actions from public view.

A newly Democratic General Assembly swiftly enacted a remarkably progressive agenda by Virginia standards that includes elimination of the death penalty. Too much too soon? The election will tell.

The Republican Party of Virginia’s governing body voted Friday to choose its nominee for governor and two other statewide offices in a May 8 convention spread out at 37 sites across the commonwealth.

RPV’s State Central Committee, meeting via videoconference, overwhelmingly adopted a convention call that apportions a different number of sites for each of the state’s 11 congressional districts, accounting for each district’s geography and difficulty of travel.

They range from as many as six polling locations in southwestern Virginia’s sprawling and mountainous 9th District to just one apiece in Northern Virginia’s compact, suburban (and Democratic-voting) 8th, 10th and 11th districts.

The “unassembled convention” plan does not specify cities or locations of polling sites. Districts will have until April 12 to select them and as late as April 24 to amend them.

Four of the five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor in this year’s race met for an online debate Tuesday night that was largely cordial and absent a frontrunning ex-governor.

Del. Lee Carter, former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax took part in the event, which was hosted by political, racial justice, climate and other advocacy groups.

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, whose name recognition, broad support among many sitting lawmakers and fundraising prowess have vaunted him to Democratic frontrunner status, declined to participate.

The event was among the first opportunities of the campaign season for the public to hear from most of the Democratic field in a race considered the country’s marquee political contest of the year.

“Trump in heels,” said at a campaign event that a fellow state senator seeking the Democratic nod in the race would not “be a governor that supports everyone” because of her leadership in the legislative Black caucus.

The remarks about state Sen. Jennifer McClellan came during a campaign event, which Chase said took place Monday night. A video clip was circulated online by Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century.

“I support equal rights not special rights. You know, Sen. McClellan, she is the vice chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. … And I said she will not be a governor that supports everyone,” Chase said in an apparent reference to a similar attack on McClellan last year.

With multiple women and people of color in the Democratic primary, groups that typically support those candidates are mostly sitting out the race so far.

The field of Democratic hopefuls for governor in Virginia is historically diverse. But that very diversity and its crowded size are causing a conflict.

That’s because the outside groups formed to support women and candidates of color are still mostly on the sidelines. And it’s leaving former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a white man and longtime Democratic insider, as the overriding frontrunner with less than three months until the primary.

Normally, these groups, which include well-funded political action committees in Democratic politics, would throw all their support and money behind candidates like Jennifer Carroll Foy or Jennifer McClellan, two African American legislators who would bring diversity to an office that has never been occupied by a woman, and only once by a Black man.

The former Virginia governor, who’s running for another term, spoke with Johnson Feb. 27 over Facebook Live.  The two discussed how the pandemic impacted the restaurant industry and black-owned businesses in particular.

Black-owned companies experienced the brunt the COVID-19 pandemic has had on small businesses. An H & R Block survey from February found 53% of Black business owners saw revenue drop by half. Only 37% of White business owners reported the same.

McAuliffe believes part of the solution is offering more state assistance to small businesses, and specifically minority businesses.

Virginia’s off-year elections could pose key test for both parties
CNN, Abby Phillip and Jeff SimonFebruary 28, 2021

Richmond, Virginia
A 16-year political shift has transformed the Commonwealth of Virginia from a solidly red state to a blue one.

Democrats in the state now control all levers of power — the Governor’s mansion, and both chambers of the state legislature — for the first time in a generation. And they are leading in an unapologetically progressive direction.

The story of Virginia politics in 2021 is a tale of two political parties. Democrats are riding a wave of demographic change and suburban revolt away from the GOP to political power. And Republicans are searching for a way forward, while trying to placate a base increasingly loyal to Trump and motivated by conspiratorial views.

As Republicans search for a path forward following Donald Trump’s defeat and the party’s loss of power in Washington, many are looking across the Potomac River to Virginia, where voters will select a new governor this November.

Well before the 2022 midterms or 2024 presidential primaries, the Virginia governor’s race will be a first real test for a post-Trump GOP — not only of whether Republicans can start to win back a state they once reliably held, but in who the party picks as its nominee.

With just three months before the state party’s planned nominating convention, attention has fallen to Amanda Chase, a pro-Trump state senator who spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on January 6. She later called those who stormed the Capitol “patriots” and has insisted the 2020 election was stolen.

Terry McAuliffe is running for governor again. Can anyone beat him?
Virginia Mercury, Graham MoomawDecember 9, 2020

On Wednesday, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe officially announced he’s running for a second term, launching a rare comeback bid pundits and political strategists say will be difficult, but not impossible, for other gubernatorial hopefuls to stop.

“Certainly he comes into the race in a very formidable position,” said veteran political commentator Bob Holsworth. “He’s a popular former governor. He has tons of resources. And he loves to campaign. At the same time, the open question in this campaign is whether he is the person for the moment.”

Long an open secret in state politics, McAuliffe made his 2021 campaign official in an appearance at a Richmond elementary school, where he was joined by a group of Black leaders. Among them were Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, and Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, who will serve as co-chairs of McAuliffe’s campaign.

We’re about to see how serious Virginia is when it comes to advancing women in the highest elective offices in the commonwealth, and that’s particularly true for Democrats.

After the briefest respite, Virginia politics revs back up and enters the national spotlight when we elect our 74th governor next year.

Not one of the first 73 — and we’ve been doing this since Patrick Henry in 1776 — has been a woman. It’s one of the longest-running perpetual fraternities in American politics. With female candidates — declared, undeclared and still mulling it over — queueing up for both parties’ nomination sweepstakes, 2021 could be the year when that changes.

A total of 44 women have served as governors in 32 U.S. states and territories dating to 1925 when Wyoming elected Democrat Nellie Tayloe Ross, five years after women won the right to vote. Most of women’s success in governors’ races has come in the 21st century when 30 of those 44 women took office in 23 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, five of which have elected women governors twice during that time.

About

Source: CNN

Excerpt from article “Virginia’s off-year elections could pose key test for both parties”

16-year political shift has transformed the Commonwealth of Virginia from a solidly red state to a blue one.

Democrats in the state now control all levers of power — the Governor’s mansion, and both chambers of the state legislature — for the first time in a generation. And they are leading in an unapologetically progressive direction.

The story of Virginia politics in 2021 is a tale of two political parties. Democrats are riding a wave of demographic change and suburban revolt away from the GOP to political power. And Republicans are searching for a way forward, while trying to placate a base increasingly loyal to Trump and motivated by conspiratorial views.

Virginia’s off-year elections have always made it a proving ground for both political parties. But this year more than normal, it could be a potential harbinger of things to come for both parties.

Closing two paragraphs
“We have two different types of Republicans. We have firebrand Republicans, and I believe we have weak kneed Republicans. I’m a firebrand Republican,” Chase said. “I’m not afraid to speak what I believe is the truth and what a lot of other Virginians and Americans across Virginia — I’m going to be their voice.”
Amid the intra-party debate in the GOP over Trumpism and Chase, Democrats in the state of Virginia see an opportunity.

“I think they will continue to lose, and Virginia will continue to shift,” said Filler-Corn when asked how the GOP would fare if they continued to push Trump-inspired politics. “What does that mean for the election? It means we have to work hard to make sure that the other side doesn’t flip things around and roll it all back. Because it could be rolled back like that.”

Web

Wikipedia

Videos

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Democratic primary

Jennifer Carroll Foy

Auto Draft 17Former Position: Delegate for VA House District 2 from 2019 to 2021
VA onAir post

Jennifer Carroll Foy is fighting to:

  • Improve transportation by extending the Metro Blue Rail to Prince William County and changing the state formula to ensure Stafford county has sufficient funds for road construction and maintenance.
  • Protect the water we drink from coal ash contamination, by removing ash or recycling it to make materials like concrete.
  • Ensure that veterans have the resources they need to get an education, start a businesses, and fully participate in Virginia’s economy after returning from service.

Endorsements:
Dawn Adams (D-Chesterfield)
Joshua Cole (D-Stafford)
Kelly Convirs-Fowler (D-Virginia Beach)
Clint Jenkins (D-Suffolk)
Danica Roem (D-Manassas)
Juli Briskman (D-Algonkian), member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
CASA in Action
Democracy for America
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Lee J. Carter

Current Position: Delegate for VA House District 50 from 2019 to 2021
VA onAir post

Throughout Lee’s career and civic engagement his focus has been on helping others — whether that was in his service in the Marine Corps, helping provide cancer patients with consistent care by maintaining biomedical radiation therapy equipment, or assisting small local businesses with IT support.

Endorsements:
Marianne Williamson, author and 2020 presidential candidate

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Justin Fairfax

Justin Fairfax 2Current Position: Lieutenant Governor since 2018
VA onAir post

Justin Farifax has been recognized as one of the top young attorneys in the nation and a rising star in American politics. He is a prominent and highly successful lawyer, political figure, philanthropist, and a proud husband, father, and community leader.

 

Endorsements:
Nicholas Fairfax, 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, member of the House of Lords of the United Kingdom

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Terry McAuliffe

Terry McAullifeCurrent Position: GMU Distinguished Visiting Professor since 2018
Former Positions: Governor from 2014 – 2018; Chair, Democratic National Committee from 2001 – 2005; Chair, Hillary Clinton presidential campaign since 2008
VA onAir post

Terry McAuliffe  is an American politician and former entrepreneur who served as the 72nd Governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, was co-chairman of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, and was chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Endorsements:
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House (2007-2011, 2019-present)
John Bell, (D-13)
Karrie Delaney, (D-67)
Barbara Favola, (D-31)
Janet Howell, (D-Fairfax)
L. Louise Lucas, President pro tempore (D-18)
Richard Saslaw, Senate Majority Leader (D-Fairfax County)
Eileen Filler-Corn, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates (D-41)
Charniele Herring, Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates (D-46)
Chris Hurst, (D-12)
Delores McQuinn, (D-70)
Martha Mugler, (D-91)
Kathleen Murphy, (D-34)
David A. Reid, (D-32)
Luke Torian, (D-52)
David Toscano, former House Minority Leader (D-57)
Roslyn Tyler, (D-75)
Jeff McKay, Chair of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond and former Secretary of the Commonwealth
Sharon Bulova, former Chair of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Richard Cranwell, Former Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, former Minority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, former Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia
John Grisham, author

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Jennifer McClellan

Jenn McClellan 2Current Position: State Senator for District 9 since 2017
VA onAir post

During Jenn McClellan’s tenure in the General Assembly, Jennifer has served as a member of Governor Ralph Northam’s Transition Committee, Chair of Governor McAuliffe’s Transition Team, and a member of Governor McDonnell’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board, Governor Kaine’s Poverty Reduction Task Force and Commission on Sexual Violence, and the Civil Rights Memorial Commission.

Endorsements:
Jennifer Boysko, (D-Herndon)
Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield)
Mamie Locke (D-Hampton)
Monty Mason (D-Williamsburg)
Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond City)
Kathy Tran (D-Fairfax County)
Ward Armstrong, former Minority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates (2007–2011)
Viola Baskerville, former Virginia Secretary of Administration (2006–2010) and former state delegate (1998–2005)
Patrick Gottschalk, former Virginia Secretary of Commerce (2006–2010)
Javaid Siddiqi, former Virginia Secretary of Education
Rodney Robinson, National Teacher of the Year in 2019
Justin Wilson, Mayor of Alexandria

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Latest polls

Poll sourceDate(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Jennifer
Carroll Foy
Lee
Carter
Justin
Fairfax
Terry
McAuliffe
Jennifer
McClellan
Undecided
Christopher Newport UniversityJanuary 31 – February 14, 2021488 (RV)4%1%12%26%4%54%
YouGov Blue (D)February 6–11, 2021235 (RV)7%6%6%43%8%30%
Global Strategy Group (D)[A]January 12–20, 2021600 (LV)7%14%42%6%30%
Expedition Strategies (D)[B]December 2020– (LV)5%16%32%8%38%

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Republican Convention

Source: Wikipedia

On December 5, 2020, the Republican Party of Virginia voted to hold a convention instead of a primary by a vote of 41 to 28. State Senator Amanda Chase initially indicated that she would run as an independent but later decided to seek nomination at the convention. Faced with pressure from the Chase campaign and activists to return to a primary, the state committee debated scrapping the convention on January 23, 2021. These efforts were unsuccessful and the party reaffirmed their decision to hold a convention.

On February 9, 2021, the Chase campaign filed a lawsuit against the Republican Party of Virginia. The suit argues the convention is illegal under current executive orders signed by Governor Ralph Northam. The Richmond Circuit Court dismissed the Chase campaign’s lawsuit on February 19, 2021.

Amanda Chase

Amanda ChaseCurrent Position: State Senator for District 11 since 2016
VA onAir post

Senator Amanda Chase is not a politician.  She’s a mom who fights for everyone and has proven she can get things done for the people of her district.

A trusted advocate and outspoken voice for Virginia families, Amanda was first elected in 2015 to represent the 11th Senatorial District. The district includes all of Amelia County, the City of Colonial Heights and most of Chesterfield County, where she has lived since 1979.

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Kirk Cox

Kirkland CoxCurrent Position: State Delegate for District 66 since 1989
Former Position: Former Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates (2018–2020)
VA onAir post

Kirk Cox was first elected from the 66th District to the House of Delegates in 1989. The 66th House District includes all of Colonial Heights and parts of Chesterfield. Kirk is proud to represent the very district where he grew up.

On January 10, 2018, Kirk was unanimously elected as Speaker of the House by the members of the House of Delegates. Upon being sworn in, Kirk became the first Speaker in state history from Colonial Heights, the first Speaker to represent a portion of Chesterfield County since the 1800s, and the first Speaker whose profession was that of a public school teacher.

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Pete Doran

2021 Governor Race - VirginiaFormer Position: Former CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis and Author
Website:  www.peterdoran.org/

Peter Doran is a Conservative outsider running for Governor of Virginia.

He is the founder and Chairman of Let’s Win, Virginia!, who has worked to recruit candidates across the Commonwealth in order to break one-party Democrat rule.

He is the successful former CEO of CEPA—a multi-million-dollar international affairs and security non-profit. He spent his career helping former Soviet Bloc countries rebuild their societies after the ravages of socialism.

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Sergio de la Peña

Sergio de la PeñaFormer Positions: Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense; U.S. Army veteran
Website:  sergiodelapena.com/

Sergio is running for governor because he believes socialists and Northern Virginia liberals are ruining the Commonwealth. He believes the American Dream is under assault from the far-left seeking to destroy this country by attacking our freedoms and values.

Sergio supports fully funding police and law enforcement and arresting and prosecuting violent criminals, looters, and rioters. Sergio is a political outsider who’s never run for office, and supports term limits to get rid of career politicians in both parties.

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Merle Rutledge

Current Position:  Merle RutledgeSmall government activist
Website:  rutledgeforvagovernor.com

Probusiness: Marijuana, Casinos, Uranium Mining, and cutting Democratic red tape that paralyze businesses.

Castle Doctrine: Enhanced Stand Your Ground law, Second chance pardons/expungement, and a State Recognized Gun, because Va is for Gun lovers!

Pro constitutionalist: Term limits, Tax reform, smaller and more efficient government and Law and Order Governor.

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Kurt Santini

Current Position: U.S. Army veteranKurt Santini
Website:  santiniforva.com

Kurt recognizes the need for change in Virginia. He sees a need for strong minded, honest people who are willing to step up and fight to give the people back their voice. Kurt is not a career politician. He is a father, husband, military veteran, and concerned citizen. He has joined the race for Governor of Virginia because he wants to put his life experiences to good use for the people of Virginia and to restore the constitutional rights he served for. Kurt wants to help the people take Virginia back!

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Pete Snyder

Current Position: Entrepreneur and marketing executive and Pete SnyderCandidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2013
Website:  petesnyder.com

Pete Snyder is a small business owner, a serial entrepreneur, an innovator, and a problem solver.

Pete started his first company from his apartment when he was 26 years old. That company, New Media Strategies, became the world’s first and one of the largest social media marketing companies.

Under Pete’s leadership, New Media Strategies was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” for three years in a row. Pete also built an award-winning corporate culture, as both Washingtonian Magazine and Washington Business Journal named New Media Strategies one of the area’s “Best Places to Work.” Snyder was honored by Fortune Small Business for his innovative management style when they named him one of the “Best Bosses in America.”

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Glenn Youngkin

Current Position: BusinessmanGlenn Youngkin
Website:  youngkinforgovernor.com

After earning an engineering degree at Rice University and his MBA, Glenn and his wife Suzanne moved to northern Virginia. Glenn landed a job at The Carlyle Group, where he spent the next 25 years. Working his way to the top of the company, Glenn played a key role in building Carlyle into one of the leading investment firms in the world. His efforts have helped fund the retirements of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other front line public servants and supported hundreds of thousands of American jobs.

Virginia is being tested. This has been a tough time, with loved ones lost, jobs lost, and a country divided. What Virginia needs now isn’t another politician – or worse, the same politician. Government bureaucracy won’t lead the rebound; the heart and resilience of Virginians will. Getting there will take a new kind of governor, an outsider who is trusted and who can bring people together around our shared values. A governor who understands the challenges we face are worth taking on. It’s time for a new day in Virginia.

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

More Candidates

Princess Blanding

Current Position: Teacher; Former School Administrator; Activist
Website:  princessblanding.com

Virginians continue to face an array of uncertainties as we navigate through two public health crises: COVID-19 and systemic racism. We know more than ever that Virginia is in dire need of progressive, courageous leadership that will put people over profit and politics.

Princess Blanding, an educator for over 13 years here in the Commonwealth and a grassroots activist, has a history of fighting to elevate the voices and concerns of every day, working-class Virginians and for increased accountability from our local and state elected officials to address the inequities in our Black and most marginalized communities.

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

Brad Froman

2021 Governor Race - Virginia 1Current Position: Business Owner
Website:  bradfroman.com

I am independent when it comes to politics.  Half of my friends are Democrat, the other half are Republican.  They are decent people and I love them despite their labels.  But my life experience has shown me that we’re all in the same boat and are being led by a political class that can’t see through the fog that they have created.  We must embrace our friends, family and community with a common purpose through independent leadership.

Virginia’s political shift from red to purple to blue

February 28, 2021
By: CNN International

CNN’s Abby Phillip previews Virginia’s gubernatorial race as Democrats ride a wave of demographic change and Republicans search for a way forward.

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Haya AyalaHala Ayala

Current Position: State Delegate since 2018
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2021 Lt. Governor

Hala S. Ayala (born 1973) is an American politician representing the 51st district in the Virginia House of Delegates. She is the Democratic nominee in the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election

Source: Wikipedia

Summary

Current Position: State Delegate since 2018
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2021 Lt. Governor

Hala S. Ayala (born 1973) is an American politician representing the 51st district in the Virginia House of Delegates. She is the Democratic nominee in the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election

Source: Wikipedia

Twitter

About

Source: Campaign page

Born and raised in Virginia, Hala understands our Commonwealth, its history, its challenges, and its many opportunities. As the daughter of a Salvadorian and North African immigrant father and an Irish and Lebanese mother, Hala reflects the growing diversity of Virginia and the strength that it brings to our future.

Growing up, Hala’s family struggled to make ends meet. And when she was pregnant, her job didn’t offer any health insurance. Thankfully, she qualified for Medicaid, which provided healthcare for her and her son. After he was born, he suffered from asthma and acid reflux and needed urgent medical attention. Medicaid saved his life.

Hala went on to build a career as a single working mom. For over 20 years as a cybersecurity specialist with the Department of Homeland Security, she worked to protect our nation’s information systems and prevent attacks on our national security. And in 2013, Hala completed her college degree online while working full time.

From the local PTA and statewide women’s advocacy groups to serving on the McAuliffe Council of Women, Hala has long worked for progress. In 2017, she helped organize the first Women’s March in Washington. Seeing millions of women stand up against division and hate inspired her to run for office. She ran for Virginia’s 51st House District and won against a four-term Republican incumbent in the diverse and fast-growing suburbs of Prince William County.

A key part of the new Democratic Majority, she made good on her campaign promises – expanding Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians, raising teacher pay, passing the Equal Rights Amendment and expanding background checks to keep guns out of dangerous hands.

Offices

Capitol Office
900 E. Main St,
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 698-1051

District Office
P.O. Box 7434
Woodbridge, VA 22195

Phone: (804) 698-1051

Web

Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook

Politics

Source: Ballotpedia

Finances

Source: Follow the Money

Committees

Committees

Communications, Technology and Innovation
   Vice Chair
Finance
Labor and Commerce

Subcommittees

Communications, Technology and Innovation – Technology and Innovation Subcommittee
   Chair
Finance – Subcommittee #1
Labor and Commerce – Subcommittee #3

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

Issues

Source: Campaign page

The world around us is moving rapidly. In a Commonwealth as vast and diverse as ours, we can’t make progress or heal discord without bridging divides — between our communities and our leaders, between our ideals and our realities, and between our past and where we’re going. COVID-19 has laid bare the inequities that already existed in our communities and we need leaders who are willing to make big and brave decisions to address our challenges and better our Commonwealth.

Hala Ayala is uniquely suited in this moment to bridge divides and keep moving Virginia forward into a strong, just, and prosperous future. Her vision for Virginia is one where everyone has a seat at the table, and everyone has an opportunity to succeed.

The Lieutenant Governor serves as the second highest elected official in Virginia. They work hand in hand with the Governor and their Cabinet to enact policies and programs that better our Commonwealth. As a leader in Richmond, they play a crucial role in setting the tone of the Administration and the General Assembly. As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will serve as a leader for all Virginians and work to build bridges between our government and its people.

As President of the Senate, the Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate and plays a central role in enacting legislation that impacts all Virginians. By building coalitions and working with her former colleagues in the House to bridge the two chambers, she will ensure that the General Assembly passes common sense legislation that improves the lives of all Virginians.

As Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Delegates — Hala’s current leadership position in the House of the Delegates — she has already helped shepherd some of the Democratic Majority’s biggest successes and knows how to get things done. She understands that fostering relationships is the key to fostering success and the key to creating a more perfect Union and Commonwealth.

Civil Rights

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Hala is a woman of color and the mother of two Black children and is acutely aware of the painful systemic racism and injustices that have plagued our justice system for centuries. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests, Hala joined her community and marched for justice.

We need reforms to ensure accountability and transparency and to prevent uses of excessive force that have led to the unjustified deaths of Black and Brown men, women, and children. To move forward as a Commonwealth, we must reform our justice system, create alternatives to the school to prison pipeline.In the 2020 special session, Hala worked with her colleagues in the Black Caucus to present an aggressive legislative agenda addressing criminal justice reform in the Commonwealth. This includes banning no knock warrants, creating civilian review boards, establishing a statewide code of conduct for police officers, and mandating racial bias, de-escalation, and crisis intervention training for police.

This session, Hala worked with her colleagues and leadership in the General Assembly to continue advocating for criminal justice reform. She co-patroned several pieces of legislation, including bills to legalize marijuana, to abolish the death penalty, to automatically expunge non-violent marijuana offenses, and to restore rights to our returning citizens.

There is a lot of work to do to heal the wounds that still exist in our Commonwealth from the legacy of slavery and the violence that Black and Brown Americans experience every day. As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will lead the way on these reforms and use her national security background to make sure every community is safe and help our communities begin to heal.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Hala has spent almost a decade as a women’s rights activist. She helped organize Virginia’s participation in the Women’s March after Donald Trump’s election and founded the Prince William chapter of the National Organization for Women. In 2020, she was the Chief co-patron on the bill that made Virginia the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to help enshrine women’s equality into the U.S. Constitution.

While we have made great strides in creating a more equitable Virginia for women, there is much work to be done, especially for Black and Brown women. That’s why Hala introduced a bill to help address fetal and infant mortality rates throughout the Commonwealth, with a focus on racial disparities. She also is fighting for paid family leave, because no one should worry about what happens to their job if they need to care for a loved one or newborn baby..

As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will continue to fight for women’s health care. She will work to expand access to birth control and contraception, and defend a woman’s right to choose. Furthermore, she will support policies and legislation that will create equity in the workplace and ensure equal pay for equal work, so women who work the same job as men can earn the same living.

Economy

JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

Hala knows firsthand how thin that bridge is between struggle and success for so many Virginians. After her family struggled when she was a child and barely making ends meet working at a gas station when her own first child was born, she was able to build a successful career with just a few college credits and a government certification training, working in national security as a cyber specialist with the Department of Homeland Security.

As Virginia charges ahead into the 21st century, we need to invest in building and training our workforce to make sure our citizens have the skills they need to be successful no matter the color of their skin or gender. Hala’s successful career in one of the sectors leading Virginia’s economy into the future makes her uniquely qualified to oversee this transition as Lieutenant Governor.

When Hala’s son was born, he had severe health issues that required intensive care, and she did not have access to paid leave through her job at the gas station. Having access to paid family and medical leave would have been life-changing. That is why Hala patroned the paid family and medical legislation, which would provide every Virginian worker with 12 weeks of paid leave for major events such as an adoption or childbirth. A majority of small business owners even backed her legislation because they know that this would help their workers and their bottom lines.

We need to focus on an inclusive economy that ensures every Virginian can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. The economic stresses so many families face have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for Black and Brown Virginians. The cost of living is rising here in Virginia, and our minimum wage needs to keep up. Furthermore, our Commonwealth needs to invest in affordable housing and combat the economic factors that price families out of neighborhoods they’ve lived in for generations.

Hala’s son is a member of the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and works at a local grocery store on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. So many Virginians have made sacrifices to get a paycheck during this crisis, and we need to do so much more to protect our workers. That’s why Hala introduced a bill mandating hazard pay for essential workers to ensure they get the support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will lead the recovery to make sure Virginians can return to work safely and provide small business owners with the support they need to recover.

Education

EDUCATION

Hala grew up attending Prince William public schools and is the former president of her local parent-teacher organization. She graduated from Woodbridge High, where her kids also attended.

As Delegate, Hala has strengthened our schools and helped our teachers and administrators to ensure our children are getting the best education possible. In the General Assembly, she authored budget amendments to increase funding for special education students, like her son. She also introduced a budget amendment to give teachers a well-deserved 2% pay raise to ensure the best talent can remain in the Commonwealth.

Schools are the building blocks to success for Virginia’s future, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more clear we need to focus our energy on giving our teachers and students the tools they need. We need to give our teachers resources to work with students who have a range of needs, and we need to retain and recruit the best teachers we can.

As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will focus heavily on our education system. She will work with the Administration and General Assembly to expand Pre-K, reduce overcrowding in classrooms, and invest in school infrastructure.

Hala also understands that every families’ path to prosperity looks different. In 2013, she completed her college degree online, leveraging tuition assistance from her employer, while working full time — so she knows from personal experience how challenging it can be to get a college degree, and the financial barriers that make this unrealistic for so many Virginians. As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will support measures to make college more affordable for all Virginians as well as lead the charge to create and improve training programs for those who choose not to attend a four-year college. In the General Assembly, Hala co-patroned legislation to establish Governor Northam’s G3 program–Get Skilled, Get a Job, and Give Back. This program provides 2 years of free community for students who train in high demand professions like information technology and medicine. Right now we have thousands unfilled, high-paying jobs in Northern Virginia. The G3 program will create a pipeline to fill these positions and ensure equity in our education system. As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will support an expansion of this program as well as increased funding apprenticeship and internship programs, as well as career and technical education certificates. We need to increase funding for these programs throughout the state to show that successful career paths come in many different routes.

Environment

CLIMATE CHANGE

As a lifelong Virginian, Hala has a deep appreciation for the diverse geography and wildlife of the Commonwealth. From the Chesapeake Bay to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful sights in the nation. With over 60 state and national parks, our natural resources are the pride and joy of our Commonwealth.

But climate change poses a real threat to our waterways and mountains, our public health, and our way of life. Flooding and coastal erosion threatens our homeowners and small businesses and one bad storm could wipe out someone’s life savings. Furthermore, the effects of climate change disproportionately affect Black and Brown communities and in addressing environmental matters, we need to view them through a racial equity lens.

Climate change is also a national security threat. Virginia is home to 27 military bases, many of them coastal. We cannot leave the fate of our military to rising sea levels.

In the House of Delegates, Hala worked closely with environmental activists and stakeholders to codify Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), bringing millions of dollars to the Commonwealth for coastal resiliency and to combat climate change. She also was a co-patron on the Virginia Clean Economy Act. This landmark environmental legislation will create nearly 13,000 jobs per year in Virginia’s Advanced Energy economy, eliminates all harmful carbon emissions from Virginia utilities by 2050, and expands access to solar and wind energy. Nearly 3 out of 4 Virginians supported this legislation.

We must act quickly to combat climate change, and as Lieutenant Governor, Hala is ready to continue her work in this area. Hala will work to ensure our Commonwealth can transition to clean energy like solar and wind, protect communities who are impacted by flooding, and make sure every Virginian has access to clean air and clean drinking water.

Health Care

HEALTHCARE

When Hala’s son was born, her job at the time offered no health insurance. When her newborn son experienced health complications, Hala was able to get care through Medicaid — and it saved his life. That’s why she’s fighting for access to affordable healthcare for all Virginians.

In 2018, Hala made good on her campaign promise as a deciding vote in the House of Delegates to expand Medicaid to more than 400,000 Virginians and stood up against Republican attempts to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Hala was so proud to stand with Governor Northam, activists, and her colleagues during this historic moment.

COVID-19 has laid bare so many inequities in our healthcare system, and we must take steps to address access to care for those who have been hardest hit during this public health crisis. That’s why Hala co-patron legislation to expand our Commonwealth’s vaccine capacity, cap the price of insulin and inhalers at $50, expand access to telehealth, and provide transparency in prescription drug costs.

We have made great strides in providing healthcare for Virginians, but there is still so much work to be done. As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will ensure Medicaid funding is continued and work to expand access to coverage for all communities. She will also work with the Federal Government to increase subsidies and lower premiums, and work to lower the cost of prescription drugs because no family should be one sickness away from bankruptcy.

Infrastructure

TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

As a single mom who commuted over two, and sometimes three, hours everyday to work for years, Hala understands firsthand the balancing act so many families in Virginia face when it comes to getting to work and caring for their families.

In the House of Delegates, Hala worked to increase funding for the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) so commuters would have viable alternative transportation options.

However, this daily disruption extends past the D.C Metro area and Northern Virginia. Our transportation issues impact so many commuters in the Richmond and Hampton Roads metro areas as well. Across Virginia, our aging infrastructure makes it harder for our citizens to prosper. We need to invest in our Commonwealth and address infrastructure needs in rural, suburban, and urban communities.

Hala recognizes this is a quality of life issue for so many Virginians and that is why as Lieutenant Governor she will work to expand and improve public transportation, and invest in rebuilding our historic bridges, roads, and highways.

Investing in infrastructure also requires a digital component. As we saw during COVID-19, internet access has become a necessity for so many occupations, and especially K-12 schooling, and it must be accessible to all Virginians. As Lieutenant Governor, Hala will be focused on bridging the digital divide in our state that affects so many Virginians. Broadband access is a matter of equity and as a cybersecurity expert, Hala is uniquely positioned to lay the foundation for extensive and scalable broadband access.

Wikipedia

Hala S. Ayala (born 1973) is an American politician who represented the 51st district in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2018 to 2022. She was the Democratic nominee in the 2021 Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election, losing to Republican nominee Winsome Sears on November 2, 2021.[1][2]

Early life and education

Ayala is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. Growing up, Ayala’s family struggled financially. She graduated from Woodbridge Senior High School, and has an associate’s degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix.[3][4]

Ayala’s father was an immigrant from El Salvador,[5] and also has North African roots.[3] Ayala’s mother was Irish and Lebanese.[3] When Ayala was pregnant, her job did not offer any health insurance but she qualified for Medicaid, which provided healthcare for her and her son.[6]

Career

Ayala at campaign rally.

Ayala formerly worked for the United States Department of Homeland Security as a cybersecurity specialist. She also formerly led the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women,[7] serving as chapter president in 2014.[3] She also served on the Virginia Council on Women as an appointee of Governor Terry McAuliffe for a term expiring on June 30, 2016.[8]

Ayala cites the documentary Miss Representation as inspiration for her to become involved in politics, and was a volunteer for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012.[3] In 2017, Ayala was an organizer of the Women’s March against Donald Trump.[9]

Ayala ran for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 2017 elections for the 51st district, which covers much of Prince William County.[7] The district specifically stretches “from just northwest of Occoquan, in eastern Prince William, to Nokesville on the county’s western border.”[3] District 51 was a key pickup target for Virginia Democrats because it was one of 17 House of Delegates districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in the preceding year’s presidential election, but was held by a Republican state house delegate.[3] In June 2017, Ayala won the Democratic nomination for the 51st district of the Virginia House of Delegates, defeating Ken Boddye in the primary election. In the general election, Ayala defeated four-term Republican incumbent Richard L. Anderson.[7] Ayala and Elizabeth Guzman became the first Hispanic women elected to the House.[9] The victories were part of a Democratic sweep in the 2017 Virginia elections, which saw major gains for the party.[9]

In July 2020, Ayala announced her candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2021 election.[10] In December 2020, she announced she would not seek reelection to her House of Delegates seat.[11] In June 2021, Ayala became the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.[2] She lost the November election to Winsome Sears.

Legislative initiatives

Drawing on her 18 years as an information security specialist for the U.S. Coast Guard, Ayala has made information and cyber security one focus of her efforts.[12][13] Her bill requiring tax preparers to report security breaches became law.[14] Ayala has also introduced bills for creating a state interagency cybersecurity task force, training state employees, increasing security of network-connected devices, and requiring digital services to remove information about minors upon request.[13]

Committee assignments

Ayala served as a member of the Science and Technology Committee and the Finance Committee.[15]

Personal life

Ayala lives in Lake Ridge, Virginia. She has two children.[3]

Electoral history

YearOfficePartyVotes for Ayala%OpponentPartyVotes%
2017Virginia House of DelegatesGreen tickY Democratic15,244[16]52.98%Rich Anderson (inc.)Republican13,47646.84%
2019Green tickY Democratic15,508[17]54.58%Rich AndersonRepublican12,88245.34%
2021Lieutenant Governor of VirginiaDemocratic1,597,79349.1%Winsome SearsGreen tickY Republican1,655,51150.8%

References

  1. ^ “Virginia Del. Hala Ayala announces bid for lieutenant governor,” by Antonio Olivo, The Washington Post, July 14, 2020, retrieved July 22, 2020
  2. ^ a b “DDHQ Election Results”. results.decisiondeskhq.com. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Jill Palermo, Former Prince William NOW president launches bid for state delegate, Fauquier Times (April 4, 2017).
  4. ^ “Delegate Hala S. Ayala (D)”. virginiaalmanac.gmu.edu. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Fenit Nirappil, In a changing Virginia suburb, a slate of diverse Democrats hopes to show path back to power, Washington Post (September 28, 2017).
  6. ^ “Meet Hala”. Hala For Virginia. November 22, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Alex Koma, Ayala wins 51st District seat, defeating 4-term incumbent, Inside NoVa (November 8, 2017).
  8. ^ Council on Women Members, Commonwealth of Virginia (last accessed November 10, 2017).
  9. ^ a b c Nuño, Stephen A. (November 8, 2017). “First Two Latinas Are Elected to Virginia House of Delegates, Making History”. NBC News.
  10. ^ Ayala, Hala. “Tweet from @HalaAyala”. Twitter. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  11. ^ “Delegate Hala Ayala Endorses Briana Sewell for 51st House District”. Hala for Virginia. December 16, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  12. ^ Marks, Joseph (May 20, 2019). “These political candidates are running on their cybersecurity expertise”. Washington Post. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Wolff, Josephine (August 6, 2019). “Are Voters Ready for Politicians to Run on Cybersecurity Platforms?”. Slate Magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  14. ^ Nolen, Chris (April 27, 2018). “2018 Virginia General Assembly Wrap-Up: Modest Privacy-Related Bills Adopted”. McGuire Woods. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  15. ^ Virginia General Assembly members
  16. ^ “House of Delegates District 51 (2017)”. www.vpap.org. Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  17. ^ “House of Delegates District 51 (2019)”. www.vpap.org. Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved March 14, 2020.

External links

Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by

Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 51st district

2018–2022
Succeeded by


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Virginia onAir – Governance & Election Hub

Virginia onAir is US onAir’s model of a curated state Hub. Over the past two years, George Mason University alumni, faculty, students, and staff through their GMU onAir chapter have led the development and testing of this Hub.

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Active citizen participation is an integral part of a functioning representative democracy. Members of the General Assembly want and need citizen input when crafting laws. As a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is your right to voice your opinion regarding pending legislation. There are many ways in which citizens can communicate with their legislator; phone calls, letters, email, or through visits to their legislative offices.

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The Democracy Squad is a virtual organizing space for George Mason University students, staff, faculty, and alumni, to promote positive civic engagement on campus. Organized by Professor Jennifer Victor, Democracy Squad participants commit to building a positive campus environment that promotes democracy. Democracy Squad is administered through Magnify, a social networking tool designed to help people solve collective action problems.

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Fairfax League of Women Voters

We are a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government. We work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and we influence public policy through education and advocacy.

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Registering Voters Requires Official Training.

The Virginia Department of Elections requires online Voter Registration training to be renewed each year after July 1st. 

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Interested In Organizing A Voter Registration Drive Or Have Questions About Volunteering?

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Election Officers Needed!

The Fairfax County Office of Elections is currently recruiting voters to serve as Election Officers a few days a year. To learn more, go to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/working.htm

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If you are interested in having the League come to facilitate your condo or community center elections, contact our co-presidents, Anu Sahai and Nancy Roodberg.

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Citizen Involvement

As a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of your greatest responsibilities is to help elect the legislators who represent all Virginians. But your role in the democratic process of government does not end at the polls. By sharing your opinions and ideas with your elected officials, you help them resolve issues and evaluate pending legislation.

Below are five projects you can do to become more involved in your democracy.

Democracy Squad at GMU

Why Democracy Squad?

There are three reasons it is important to organize the campus community to engage in politics:

  1. Over the past several years, partisan polarization has contributed to the decline of democratic norms. Political science has shown that democratic institutions fail when citizens and leaders fail to adhere to democratic norms. We can shore up democracy, its institutions and norms, by taking positive actions to reinforce them.
  2. Politics and policy at the federal level are are damaged and gridlocked. We can reinforce democracy by taking actions in our community.
  3. Modern American politics are ugly. Conditions are ripe for misinformation, conspiracy, and sometimes violence. As a campus community, it is important to be a model of positive civic engagement. Democracy Squad highlights partisan-neutral, positive civic participation.

What does Democracy Squad do?

Volunteers in Professor Victor’s Democracy Squad connect through Magnify, a social media application designed to facilitate collective action. Democracy Squad includes a collection of projects, big and small, to help facilitate positive civic engagement on campus. Democracy Squad members can join one another’s projects or event, or post their own. Examples include: attend an open panel or talk on campus, attend a local city council meeting, create an info-graphic about misinformation and post it on social media, create a chalk campaign to thank first responders and essential workers, and more!

Can small, individual acts really reinforce democracy?

Yes. How do I know that small, individual acts can reinforce democracy? Because it’s the only thing that ever has. When combined, small acts of individuals add up to collective action. When people reinforce democratic values, the democracy is strengthened.

What type of small acts are most effective at reinforcing democracy?

To support democracy, take actions that directly impact the sources of polarization: inequalityweak parties, and lack of shared information. The books listed below each category help to explain how trouble in these three areas have contributed to polarization. Taking action to correct these, can counteract polarization. Examples of current Democracy Squad projects that speak to these challenging areas are listed below.

1. Inequality (economic, racial, health, education, environmental, etc.). Polarization rises with inequality. Read more about how inequality contributes to democratic decline in these books:

2. Strong political parties have a moderating effect on political candidates. Strengthen parties that support democratic values. People are attracted to extremism and anti-democratic movements when they feel unrepresented. Change election laws to promote multi-partyism and generate more representation.

3. Bifurcated information environment contributes to polarization.

What has Democracy Squad done?

During the peak of the 2020 election season, George Mason University’s Democracy Squad boasted about 120 members who took more than 100 actions in 48 different local projects. Our movement was noticed by the Mason community and spread to other campuses, including University of Texas, Austin..

GMU Democracy Squad participants showed a 40 percent engagement rate with DS projects.

How do I join Democracy Squad?

Join Democracy Squad by creating an account on Magnify and joining the Democracy Squad organization on Magnify. You can then join a project that is already posted, or create your own project in Democracy Squad. Proposed projects will require approval from Professor Victor. Student generated projects are encouraged and should be consistent with the goals of Democracy Squad: encourage Mason Nation to take positive actions that reinforce democracy, reduce partisan polarization, and support democratic norms and values through civic engagement.

Click Here to Join Democracy Squad

You can also join Democracy Squad using Magnify invite code: “squadgoals.” Democracy Squad is open to any George Mason University student, staff, alumni, or faculty.

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